By now I am sure you have seen, what is referred to as emotional support animals, sometimes on the commercial airplane flights with you. Maybe even on the lap of the person sitting next to you.

Recently a passenger presented what they called their “emotional support peacock”. The irony being we all know exactly what that means. There’s never been a more colorful example demonstrating how important it is for airlines, their passengers and the Department of Transportation to examine the rules and regulations that govern their industry and look for ways to make flying better for everyone.

So recently, at the request of the Department of Transportation to the Airline Industry, the industry did just that. They pointed out that there were very few things that are the same as they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago.  Some of the rules and regulations they want examined haven’t been reviewed or updated in decades.  It doesn’t make sense to have such outdated rules governing an industry that is striving for innovation.

The airline industry has recently focused on this particular issue, along with others, to clarify the rules and regulations so that they can improve their service to everyone. What exactly is the definition of an emotional support animal? For an airport that must now provide a pet relief area for that animal we would like to know the answer! What safeguards do we need to employ to keep any such animal away from another passenger that may have an allergic reaction to another passenger’s support animal?

Simply stated, the airline industry and the airport they provide service to understand they are in the customer service industry. We understand that criticism comes with the territory of doing such. The airline industry says they provide flight service to 2.3 million passengers per day and on average receive 32 complaints so they are doing their jobs very well. An airport provider is a part of that same daily experience. It serves all of us that we arrive at a system of rules and regulations that protect the passengers yet helps improve the flying experience. We couldn’t ask for anything more than the roadmap that makes the industry better.