ss_blog_claim=bf53c2c2a6b5e4b759eb9b46babec032 Stephen the dog: American Airlines Responds

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

American Airlines Responds

They actually got back to me a lot sooner but I had to get the letter scanned in and converted to text.

If you forgot my original letter to them can be found here

February 4, 2009

Mr. Stephen The Dog
7 woofer Lane
Barkington DE 20023

Dear Mr. Dog:

Thank you for contacting American Airlines Customer Relations. While I've never responded to a dog before, I am pleased to do so.

There are two important reasons why we have strict rules requiring that dogs be kept
in kennels while flying in the cabin -- for the well-being of the pet and the comfort of
all of our customers. The pet must be able to stand up while inside the kennel --
something especially important on a long flight, Please don't take this next part
personally -- not all traveling pets are as civilized as you. The kennels also help
reduce odor, noise, allergic reactions or potential danger to our customers from
these pets.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has ruled that airlines must allow emotional
support animals to travel in the cabin; these animals may ride on the customer's lap.

Some humans with allergies object to traveling when pets are present in the cabin.
Believe it or not, our regulations for pets carried aboard the aircraft are aimed at
reducing any discomfort on the part of our other customers. When traveling within
the 48 contiguous United States, we allow seven kennels per flight, two in the First
Class cabin and a total of five in the Main Cabin and Business Class combined. The pet must travel in a kennel that fits underneath the seat in front of the accompanying passenger. We require that the animal stay in the kennel (there are exceptions) in
order to reduce odor, noise, allergic reactions and unpleasant "accidents."
Additionally, the pet must be able to stand up in the kennel, which precludes large
animals from being accommodated. For the most part, no household pets are
allowed in the cabin on long transatlantic or transpacific flights (with the exception of service animals) or on flights to or from Hawaii.
While we appreciate the perspective of some that things would be a lot easier if pets were barred from the passenger cabin, the large number of our customers who want to travel with their animals don't share this view. So, I'm sure you appreciate our reasons for not applying any such ban unilaterally.

Mr. Stephen The Dog
We appreciate your compliments regarding Carmen Alvarez and while we're not able
to comply with your request for an autographed picture, I've forwarded a copy of your
letter to our Manager in San Juan. I'm sure Carmen will be delighted to read your

Mr. Dog, we hope you can travel with us soon. It would be our privilege to welcome you aboard.

We welcome all customer feedback. The next time you feel something deserves our
attention, please email us via at We'll
receive your comments without delay and get back to you as soon as possible.


Carol A. Alexander


At March 31, 2009 at 9:26:00 PM EST , Blogger Wheeler Images said...

What a lovely and informative letter! Pity they couldn't provide an autographed photo...

At April 1, 2009 at 5:14:00 PM EST , Blogger Wheeler Images said...


I feel betrayed and bewildered by your web representation. BenSpart ( has "outed" you, not as a dog, but as a cold media entity.

What was next...reality shows...happy meal toys?

Cats Steven? Did it have to be cats?

-Saddened Reader


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