Customers with Disabilities and Southwest Airlines
just their new pet-friendly policy, PAWS (Pets are Welcome on Southwest). After hearing complaints from customers and employees alike, Southwest Airlines will now allow a limited number of small cats and dogs onboard the aircraft with their owners. There is a fee of $75 each way, and customers can begin purchasing their pet tickets on June 1, 2009, with travel beginning June 17. Southwest Airlines insists that the implementation of this new policy will not effect to the efficiency of the airline.
Currently no requirements state that SARAs must be safe-side, i.e., past the TSA security checkpoints, and therefore most do not yet meet the requirement of "reasonable distance" for transferring passengers. This is an area that many airports and carriers are currently looking at, and will be one of the highest priorities in the creation of new SARAs in the near future. Finally, the US Access Board and the Open Doors Organization are collaborating on a guidebook for airports and carriers to utilize to create the best SARAs possible. New technology, methods, and ideas are being used to create this guide as well as create the best possible SARA possible for the dog and its handler, so the future is bright for traveling working dogs as well as the millions of pets who travel with their owners each year. Links for finding SARAs at your preferred airports: Southwest Airlines: Alaska Air: Mr. Paws: Service Dog: Pet Friendly Travel: Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport: Philadelphia Airport: Miami International Airport: Andrea Jehn Kennedy and her husband Craig are co-owners of Access Anything (), travel consultants and writers specializing in marketing and education for all aspects of disability travel.