[nagdu] airport adventure

Julie Phillipson jbrew48 at verizon.net
Sat Aug 13 22:45:35 UTC 2011

When I was going home from guide dog training in April I had a similar 
incident at LGA, now how many service animals go through security in New 
York City every single day?  An new IA was with me that drove me to the 
airport and the security lady was talking to her.  I finally asked what the 
problem was, and the IA explained to me that they were discussing how I 
should go through security with a guide dog.  I then forced the lady to talk 
to me and asked her how she was taught to process a blind person with a 
guide dog.  She actually said she didn't know!  I said something like it 
just doesn't seem to matter how much training or educating we or the TSA 
gives their employees it just doesn't sink in.  I then proceeded to show her 
how it should be done.  She called me miss smarty pants!  I kept my cool and 
we got our things and sat down to put on shoes.  Now she scanned my carry on 
and saw something she wanted to check out.  Now the bag I had with me has 
several pockets and I made her go through it all to find the offending 
object.  She found a nylobone and thought that was it.  I had forgotten my 
cane was also in there and that was more likely the problem object.  OK 
while she is doing all this people were backing up waiting to go through, 
and one lady finally came over and let her know she was not happy.  Now if 
this had been my first dog and a less frequent flyer, and I was less 
knowledgeable about the procedures, it could have been a very unsettling 
experience.  As it was I just said to the IA one of these days I'm going to 
get myself in real trouble.  Then I waited at the gate for an hour and when 
they called my flight the lady attendant told me to sit down it wasn't my 
flight.  I said yes it is.  She took my ticket and ID to see if I wasn't 
suppose to be going some place else.  Once she confirmed that really was my 
flight she let me get on the plane.  Hay I'm just a person who happens to be 
blind so I can't possibly know where home is right?  Luckily my dog is a 
very mellow traveler and didn't give me any worry's.
Julie Phillipson
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "cheryl echevarria" <cherylandmaxx at hotmail.com>
To: "NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users" 
<nagdu at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2011 3:38 PM
Subject: Re: [nagdu] airport adventure

FYI, this happened to me coming back from Convention, and being a travel 
professional, and I also spoke to the TSA person that we had at convention 
talking to us about the procedure of the airport.

I have asked to let go of the dog and walk through without him.

This was the first time that this has ever happened to me in 4 years of 
having my dog and I travel a lot.

So, when he said to let go of my dog, I said no, that is not the procedure, 
and I wanted to speak to a supervisor, he also wanted me to remove my 
insulin pump from my body, not from the case, I told him that was not the 
procedure as well, since if I remove it from my body I put my life at stake 
because I couldn't put it back in.

He started calling me difficult, and finally said that the supervisor was 
not around, and I said I wanted his name, he wouldn't give it to me, but 
once I went through the correct procedure, and was talk to another TSA 
person, she gave me his name, and said he has been harassing people all day. 
This was at the Orlando Airport coming home to Long Island.

The proper procedure, and I was told that what I did was correct by the 
Gentleman from the NAGDU meeting and from the Manager at the Orlando Airport 
TSA, since I called when I got home is

I ask the dog to sit stay, make a long leash, and hold onto the least and I 
walk through the metal detector first, when I come through, I call the dog 
to come, the metal alarm will go off, and they will gentle pat down the dog, 
of course, Maxx gives out free kisses normally at this point, he is such a 

That is the proper procedure.  If someone tells you differently, get a 
supervisor or call the TSA when you get home, give them approximately what 
time it happened, what airline and get you were trying to get to, the time 
of your flight.  So they can track down who did what they did.

Do not be afraid to put you foot down.
Leading the Way in Independent Travel!

Cheryl Echevarria
reservations at echevarriatravel.com<mailto:reservations at echevarriatravel.com>

Affiliated as an Independent Contractor with Montrose Travel CST-1018299-10

Affiliated as an Independent Contractor with Absolute Cruise & Travel, Inc.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Pickrell, Rebecca M (TASC)<mailto:REBECCA.PICKRELL at tasc.com>
  To: 'NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog 
Users'<mailto:nagdu at nfbnet.org>
  Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2011 9:35 AM
  Subject: Re: [nagdu] airport adventure

  Sounds like Sam percieved the interaction not as force but as "Hey, this 
dude seems cool, so I'll do what he asks".
  We've all been there

  -----Original Message-----
  From: nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org<mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org> 
[mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Nimer M. Jaber, IC³
  Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 9:08 PM
  To: NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users
  Subject: Re: [nagdu] airport adventure

  Hey Sam,

  Nobody in this or any other universe would _ever be able to force me
  to take my dog's harness, leash or collar off. The minute that
  happens, I maintain verbal control, but that's not enough for my
  comfort level in a busy airport. This is where I would have raised
  hell. Second, I would have taken up the issue of seating with the
  flight attendant simply because of the reason that they are often
  unwilling to delay a flight, and you telling them that the "ADA"
  doesn't have anything in it about forcing a disabled passenger to sit
  in a certain row will normally fix the problem, result in you being
  moved, and the airline staff being educated. I would not be forced to
  _ever remove anything from my animal, and I would not _ever sit in a
  bulkhead seat, even if it would mean rescheduling and making a larger
  issue of it. That's just me, and I'm sure not everyone would handle
  that stuff the same.


  On 10.08.2011, Sam Hogle <smhogle at gmail.com<mailto:smhogle at gmail.com>> 
  > Hello all. I thought this would be interesting since we've been on this
  > topic lately. Mason and I spent the last week in NC, and had an
  > interesting experiense today that I haven't had before and hope to not
  > have again. Normally, I've noticed that airport staff are generally
  > nervous around Mason. However, the guy working security was the exact
  > opposite. In fact, when the harness set off the alarm, he wanted me to
  > remove it along with the leash and collar. I thought this was odd, but
  > since the guy was cooperating with me in helping me keep control of him,
  > something that was not an issue since he was behaving, and it sped up
  > the process, I wasn't sure what good complaining would do. Also, I'd
  > never heard of this happening before. So, that resolved itself and we
  > continued on our way. At that point, I was thinking that things would go
  > smoothly when the gate agent walked over and said that I "Had to sit in
  > the bulk head." I patiently informed her that I did not have to do this,
  > to which she responded that it was their policy. I followed up with the
  > fact that the ADA keeps this from happening, to which she replied, "It
  > doesn't say anything like that in the MDA." You got it people, she
  > couldn't even get the name right. Anyway, she went to talk to her
  > supervisor, and came back with the same answer. I told her that he
  > physically wouldn't fit there since they couldn't block off the seat
  > next to me and there was nothing for him to go under. She responded
  > with, "not a problem. We can put you in the aisle." I then said that he
  > would be in danger of getting run over by the drink carts or stepped on
  > by other pasengers, and that this still wouldn't solve the fact that he
  > would be in the leg room of the person next to me. At this point, a man
  > sitting a few feet away said he didn't mind sitting there, which made me
  > realize that we were having this discussion in earshot of everyone,
  > something I thought was extremely unprofessional on her part. Anyway,
  > after that man said that, she said that they would also let me know when
  > the cart was coming, and that Mason would be in no danger. I told her
  > that this was still unsafe, and that I couldn't ride there, to which she
  > responded, "You have too or you won't go on this flight." At this point
  > I was at a loss. Since she was being unreasonable and didn't even want
  > to listen to what I had to say, reasoning with her was out. I also knew
  > that I couldn't talk with her supervisor since I heard them talking at
  > the counter, and knew they were on the same side. I'd thought about
  > leaving and trying to rebook my flight since I had no obligations at
  > home, but had no way to get the hour long distanse from the airport to
  > my aunt's since she was at work at that point and couldn't leave. So, I
  > had decided that I would wait untill we were boarding and talk with the
  > flight attendent. I figured they would see that Mason wouldn't fit, and
  > we could easily straighten this out. However, I guess karma decided to
  > step in first. It turns out that the plane we were supposed to ride on
  > had maintinanse issues, and the flight was canseled. There were some
  > vacant seats on a flight leaving an hour and a half later, and one of
  > those seats was given to me. Luckily, that gate agent was more than
  > accomidating and the original agent saw the whole transaction. So, I
  > guess that showed her what she could do with her "policies." lol Anyway,
  > Mason and I made it home safely, and I'm definitely considering writting
  > to Delta about this one. I don't mind educating people about rules and
  > regulations, but I won't have people completely brush me off and treat
  > me or my dog like second class citizens.
  > Sam and Seeing Eye Dog Mason
  > _______________________________________________
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  > nagdu at nfbnet.org<mailto:nagdu at nfbnet.org>
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  Nimer M. Jaber

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