United Airlines Bans Nine Breeds From Flying

United Airlines Bans Nine Breeds From Flying

But Is the Rule Fair?

United Airlines’ recent merger with Continental has caused the airline to update its pet policy. Now, it has banned nine breeds, including the Pit Bull and American Staffordshire Terrier, from flying on its fleet. Dog owners are speaking out against the airlines’ discriminatory policy, with many claiming that identifying an entire breed as aggressive and not fit for flying is simply unfair.

Dog owners are right. A well-trained dog of any breed is capable of boarding a plane successfully, just as an untrained dog of any breed could lash out, be aggressive, or wreak havoc on a flight. A general ban might seem heartless and discriminatory, but can airlines really accept pets on a case-by-case basis?

Absolutely. Dog owners can’t just show up at the gate with a dog. They have to make arrangements to fly with their pet ahead of time, providing paperwork from their vet when the pup boards the plane. I understand United not wanting aggressive or potentially dangerous dogs on their planes. I wouldn’t want one at the neighborhood dog park or in my house, either. So, shouldn’t the focus be keeping all dogs of a certain breed off of the plane—it should be keeping aggressive dogs off of planes.

United should update its pet policy to require veterinarian approval for flying. Such approval is important anyway to ensure the pet is healthy enough to fly. The vet should also sign off of the pet’s demeanor. If a pet has a history of aggressive behavior, then it can be kept off of the flight. Pet owners who are confident that their dog’s health and demeanor are appropriate for air travel should have no issue with such requirements.

What do you think? Should airlines ban some breeds from flying the friendly skies?