Ensure All Staff Be Trained to Allow Service Dogs On All Flights

  • by: Sue Lee
  • recipient: W. Douglas Parker Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, American Airlines

A marine veteran attempted to board an American Airlines with his service dog but a particular worker refused him with the animal.  The vet, Marine Captain Jason Haag served several tours of duty and suffered a traumatic brain injury with a diagnosis of PTSD.  While in recovery, Haag was presented with Axel, his service dog. 

The dog was named as service dog of the year by People Magazine and the American Humane Association.  Haag flew to Los Angeles with Axel in order to accept the award with no issues but when attempting to board a flight home, Axel was refused to board with his owner, despite Haag showing all the required proof that he was indeed a real service dog.

Since the incident, American Airlines did formally offer an apology for the incident, re-booking him and putting him up for the night, which is very commendable, despite the stress and inconvenience presented to Captain Haag.  They stated, “We apologize to both Capt. Haag and his family for the confusion with the travel plans… Thank you, Capt. Haag, for your service to your country. We are extremely proud to fly you, Axel and your family.”

We just want to ensure that such an event does not reoccur. We are urging the American Airlines CEO to ensure that all training on proper service dog handling be included in all existing guidelines.  Our efforts in this petition is to ensure that AA trains all staff to be well-educated in handling patrons and their service dogs.  You can help us in our efforts by signing and sharing this petition.

W. Douglas Parker Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, American Airlines – We highly appreciate that you have apologized to Marine Captain Jason Haag for the stress and tension of his dog being rejected on a flight by one of your staff.  You made your efforts to compensate him by rebooking him on a further flight and putting him and his dog up for the night.  However, we are asking that you ensure all staff are properly trained in the proper protocol when encountering patrons and their service dogs.  Such training should be included in your training guidelines.  Please take all necessary measures to ensure that no one is ever turned away, again, like what happened to Captain Haag and his special award-winning dog, Axel.

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