Denver - November 14, 2013
You may remember that Marianne & I recently took a trip to Albuquerque for my book tour. We flew on Frontier Airlines. I fully expected to have a seat to myself, so imagine my shock when I started to climb onto the seat and Marianne gave me a yank and pointed to the floor.
"No Jebbity, you have to curl up under the seat in front of us," she told me. "Quickly, please."
"You're kidding, right? I know you paid extra for more legroom and all, but look how tiny that space is!" I shook my head. "No way a 75-pound dog is going to squish under there."
"I am NOT kidding, that's the rule, so please back in and lie down. You're holding up everyone else who's trying to get on the plane." She jerked on my leash for emphasis.
FINE. WHATEVER. I backed in, lay down, rolled myself into the tiniest ball I could and wedged myself under the seat. Good thing I don't suffer from claustrophobia.
(Funny story for another time: Stryker No Stryker Don’t once got stuck under a theater seat. Marianne says she was mortified.)
Anyhow, I managed to squeeze most of myself into that tiny space, but after we took off I kind of uncurled a bit. Not a lot, but enough to keep my shoulders from cramping. Houdini I’m not. The Frontier flight attendants were very nice about me being there, as was Marianne’s seat mate. The trip back to Denver was the same, and again, everyone was very kind to me. Marianne told me that when she took Kindle to CCI Turn In last weekend things happened pretty much the same way, with Kindle doing his best to squish himself under the seat. My classmates Gaia and Obie were on the same Frontier flight and they were in the bulkhead row, which is even trickier! But they managed.
So, I thought our experience was fairly common for assistance dogs. Imagine my surprise to see this story today about Albert Rizzi and his Guide Dog Doxy who were kicked off a US Airways plane last night because after an hour delay on the tarmac, Doxy had relaxed a bit and wasn’t smashed 100% under the seat: http://abcnews.go.com/US/us-airways-kicks-blind-man-off-plane-passengers/story?id=20889570
Now, I’m a news hound. I know that every story has two sides, but when I read that not only were Albert and Doxy kicked off the flight but all the other passengers were also kicked off for standing up for them, I felt like something was amiss with US Airways version of the incident, which stated that Doxy was out of control. The flight was canceled and the airline hired a bus to take the passengers to their final destination. The passengers defending Albert and Doxy said that Doxy was not being naughty or disruptive, and that he was curled up under Albert’s feet, just not completely under the seat in front. Hmmm. It seems to me that US Airways has some more investigating to do, and might possibly owe an apology to Albert, Doxy and the other passengers.
Me, I’m sticking with Frontier.
Chow for now!