New airline rules could hurt traveling service animals - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New airline rules could hurt traveling service animals

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Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Delta Airlines has a new plan to crack down on fake emotional support animals, but one Eau Claire woman believes the new rules could potentially hurt passengers traveling with real service animals. 

Katherine Schneider told News 18 she's lived with Seeing Eye dogs for 45 years and, with their help, has been able to travel across the country independently. 

Schneider said she understands why Delta, and now United Airlines, are changing their rules about animals on board, like requiring passengers to show proof of vaccination at least two days before a flight. 

However she's concerned the airlines haven't considered what those extra hoops would mean for Americans who truly depend on their service animals. 

"It just makes my life harder, which to me, feels like discrimination," Schneider said. "I don't blame the airlines for trying to do something, because everyone's safety is important. It's important to me that an out-of-control animal not be attacking me, my service dog or anybody else. But I don't think each airline, trying to figure out the rules themselves, is the way to go." 

She also told News 18 it'll take more than a few travelers with service dogs to make Delta reconsider their new rules. That's why she's asking everyone to contact their airline of choice and the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation to share their thoughts on the matter. 

Follow the link to share your opinions with the DOT. 

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