I was on a Chicago to Phoenix flight late Saturday and encountered what has to be one of the most annoying things I’ve ever seen on a plane – a dog barking.
Now, to start off, I don’t know whether this was a service animal or not, however my initial assumption in looking at how the dog was handled and the passengers (it was a couple) who it belonged to make me believe it was not. After take-off and once gaining altitude, the small dog began to whimper and bark…constantly. It did this for the first hour of the flight at least and there were several passengers clearly annoyed by the situation. Folks were eyeing the passengers who owned the dog looking for them to do something, however they just continued to read their newspaper as if nothing was happening.
I had my Bose noise canceling headphones on at the time, but even with those I could still hear the puppy. I had tweeted US Airways for guidance, however they just kept referring me to the flight attendants, who weren’t too helpful at the situation. I asked for a policy on if something could be done, however the Twitter team was very vague on what action could be taken. After dinner service, and now having a dog’s barking stuck in my head, I noticed that the annoying sound had stopped. Perhaps the dog went to bed? I’m not a dog owner (or lover, to be honest), so I don’t know how they work, or what makes them quiet down. In any event, the dog eventually went silent – well, except for the occasional chirp.
So, this brings up a question I’d like to pose for everyone – what do you do when an animal on a plane is barking or disturbing you? As a note to everyone, this is by no means an offense to those with service animals. To be frank, those animals are usually trained to be well behaved. What I’m referring to is personally owned pets. Would you say something to the flight attendant? Would you say something to the pet owner? What’s your “protocol” for dealing with this type of annoying situation?
For reference, here is US Airway’s policy for pets onboard.
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