Aircraft Accidents and the Threat to Passenger Safety Part Two

Before I begin, let me point out that my wife works with children with mental and physical handicaps; their disabilities are valid; their dependence on comfort animals is legitimate. A blind person who is absolutely dependent on the trained guide dog is a legitimate companion to the visually handicapped person.
Back in November 2014 a woman was kicked off a US Airways flight because her pig was stinking up the cabin. What is so extraordinary about this story was the fact the pig was kicked off because of its odor, not because it was a 70 pound pot-bellied ‘comfort’ pig. In this coddled, entitlement society we live in, people are openly and blatantly abusing the very correct freedoms given to the handicapped in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Designed to give relief to genuine people-in-need, e.g. the blind passenger, and allow their guide animal to accompany their owner into the cabin of the passenger airliner. The comfort animal is supposed to be trained to deal with other passengers; it is not to roam free, but restrained.
Today, anyone can claim a ‘handicap’ and therefore be allowed the ‘comfort’ animal to sit with them on the airliner. If the passenger next to them is allergic to animals, it is the allergic passenger who is moved, not the ‘handicapped’ person.
Airlines are starting to make this practice more available, providing pet areas and free rein in the terminals. What I feel is more critical is that the uncontrolled wave of animals on airliners creates a dangerous situation.
I challenge anyone to go through a cabin fire simulation. The cabin is smoke filled; you are forced to crawl looking for aisle lights while doing your best to locate the emergency exit in the midst of chaos. It is a scenario that a preflight briefing cannot prepare you for.
With the incompetent passengers going back for luggage causing logjams during the British Airways evacuation in McCarran, we must ask ourselves, would an animal running underfoot in an emergency evacuation be any less dangerous?

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