AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

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Air Canada apologizes for telling soldier with PTSD her service dog not welcome.

Post by Guest on Mon 13 Jan 2014, 19:07


   
   
 


Air Canada is apologizing to a soldier for a “misunderstanding” after she was told her service dog, which helps her cope with her symptoms of PTSD, was not allowed on board a flight she had booked to attend her grandmother’s funeral over the weekend.

In a statement sent to CTV News Monday afternoon, Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline has a policy to accept service animals for passengers with a number of disabilities that are not limited to physical impairments. Once passengers submit a form filled out by their doctor, “professionally trained and harnessed” service animals are allowed on board.

“In fact, we provide extra space to accommodate them,” Fitzpatrick said.
In this particular case, we have invited the customer to provide us with more complete information to allow the customer to travel on Air Canada with her service animal. We apologize for this misunderstanding.”

Shirley Jew’s ordeal began on Saturday, when she contacted Air Canada to inform the airline that she would be travelling with her service dog, Snoopy, from Edmonton to Toronto. In one of several posts she made to the airline’s Facebook page, Jew says she and Snoopy had flown on Air Canada as recently as December without incident.

On this occasion, however, Jew says her call was passed around from employee to employee. All of them told her that Snoopy did not qualify because Transport Canada did not recognize her PTSD as a disability requiring a service dog.
“They keep referring to her as an emotional support animal and she is not,” Jew posted to Facebook.

Transport Canada allows service animals onto flights when they are accompanying patients with a variety of conditions, from vision or hearing impairments to mobility limitations. Air Canada’s rules, as posted to the airline’s website, suggest service animals for emotional or psychiatric support are permitted only aboard flights to the United States.

On Sunday, Air Canada responded to Jew on Facebook, saying that Snoopy could be allowed into the cabin as a pet if she paid the $50 pet fee.

“We have spoken with our medical desk and they have informed us that they explained to you that PTSD isn't yet recognized by the Canadian government as one of the conditions requiring a service animal,” an Air Canada social media representative named Nisha wrote to Jew on Facebook, saying service animals for PTSD are allowed on flights to the U.S. only.

Nisha suggested that the airline would be happy to add “your pet” to Jew’s passenger file if she paid the $50 pet fee.

However, Jew opted to accept a refund from the airline and book a flight on WestJet instead.

The airline also took to Facebook to inform Jew that she can register her service animal via the airline’s medical desk.

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Ex Member on Mon 13 Jan 2014, 20:02

As unfortunate as this situation was for the Veteran, it is an invaluable lesson for the public to see the inequality that was experienced by this soldier. The more exposure publically to Veterans with PTSD or any other illness or disability the greater opportunity for change and understanding within industry standards be it airlines or any other public entity and better still, people in general.  Koodos for WestJet for allowing the service dog on board.

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by RobbieRoyal on Tue 14 Jan 2014, 06:50

the bigger picture her is that this soldier actually tries to bring a better QOL in order to cope with the everyday struggles of PTSD. She actually was brave enough to seek help period. In any form be it a dog or a human she is getting help and that is the most important criteria her, ver proud of her.
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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Rags on Wed 15 Jan 2014, 08:59

Nice to this type of therapy discussed and offered. My mother did Tai Chi for years after her health problems and after my injuries overseas she suggested I take a trip down that road......cant hurt she said. I did this and it was the thing I needed to set some inner peace and physical activity to allow me to be calm feel at peace and move forward with treatment for PTSD. I highly recommend it especially if you want to get better. PTSD requires allot of work on the part of the person with it. The Thi Chi let me get through it.

 As my doc told me at the start of my program. "you can get better you will never be the same but you can get better then the point you are now at, it requires allot of hard work on your part those that dont work hard at it curl up wither and give up. Dont be one of them."

Those that criticize the suck it up butter cup stigma comment should not they should just suck it up butter cup and get on with the healing. PTSD sufferers are there own worst enemy. So suck it up my brother work hard and healing and do some Thi Chi.....it is a life savor!

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by bigrex on Wed 15 Jan 2014, 14:41

I know when I was working Security at the Halifax Infirmary, I had to correct a few hospital and security staff, because they tried denying entry to a service dog, because to even health professionals, many still believe the only real service dog is for the blind. The dogs are given vests that identify them as service animals, for whatever reason, and are supposed to be allowed in areas that normally do not allow animals, including hospitals. Even all treatment animals had to go through a screening process before being allowed in, including (and this was a fun part of my job), having a picture ID taken and displayed at all times in the hospital.
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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Guest on Wed 15 Jan 2014, 18:44

I do believe that the general public, and work place supervisors, need to be more educated when it comes to service dogs, the media is doing and excellent job in this regards, but I feel the government may be able to set standards, or put standards in place to ensure that those that require assistance with service dogs get the well deserved respect they deserve. Having said that, it does not help when a certain celebrity uses their dog to board flights stating that the dog is a service dog when it is not. So maybe in time those that require service dogs will have no, or little problems as more and more recognize the importance of what these service dogs do for those individuals who suffer from PTSD.

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by bigrex on Wed 15 Jan 2014, 21:47

Trooper it should be easy to handle, since all service animals must be registered, simply create a national or provincial ID card (that can be ordered online with an attached photo), similar to a drivers license. Then when going into an establishment, or booking a flight, the owner only needs to show the ID, and the animal is allowed. The initial cost may be daunting, but once that is done, all future cards could maybe issued by the kennels that train these dogs, when they are assigned to a person.
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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Guest on Thu 16 Jan 2014, 18:00

Excellent point/Idea Rex.

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Ex Member on Thu 16 Jan 2014, 19:45

That is a good idea, Rex, really! I think you should pass that suggestion on to the higher ups, I believe it has merit!

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by bigrex on Thu 16 Jan 2014, 21:59

I'm sure that the idea would be better received if it was from someone actually using a service animal, after all it would be for their benefit, not anyone else's. That being said, any member here that does use a service animal can feel free to run with it.

As far as costs go, a machine to print cards costs 3-5 thousand, and the cartridges cost a couple of hundred, but last quite a while. The cards themselves, because they come in boxes of 500 or 1000, equal to around 1 or 2 dollars per card, since they wouldn't need to have a RFID chip. At the hospital, we printed off an average of 500 ID's per month, and a cartridge normally lasted 2-3 months. So for the number of service dogs in Canada, the over all costs would be far less than the annual salary of the individuals tasked to print them off.
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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Rags on Fri 17 Jan 2014, 08:18

Im going to be the Devils Advocate here;
I think we are taking this way way too far. Pay the 50 to take the dog that looks more like a rat as your comfort pet. If she feels so strong lobby and write letters and motivate the system to accept properly trained dogs as PTSD service dogs. And I emphasize properly trained! not a pet rat that makes ya feel cozy. She is an Int Sgt. Air force Cold Lake. Last time I saw a Int anything in combat was......never. And getting randomly shot at or snipped or you may die cause your in a war zone does not give ya the PTSD re badge of courage. Ok I said it some one had to this is getting so stupid.

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Guest on Fri 17 Jan 2014, 09:53

im not sure people are seeing the issue at least as I see it and I am glad this lady has brought it to light. here is what I see in the initial post that disturbs me.

Canada did not recognize her PTSD as a disability requiring a service dog.

Transport Canada allows service animals onto flights when they are accompanying patients with a variety of conditions, from vision or hearing impairments to mobility limitations. Air Canada’s rules, as posted to the airline’s website, suggest service animals for emotional or psychiatric support are permitted only aboard flights to the United States.

“We have spoken with our medical desk and they have informed us that they explained to you that PTSD isn't yet recognized by the Canadian government as one of the conditions requiring a service animal,” an Air Canada social media representative named Nisha wrote to Jew on Facebook, saying service animals for PTSD are allowed on flights to the U.S. only.

now quite a while back now the US went through this with some airlines however it turned out to be the airlines fault as prior to the incidents the US had changed their regulations to allow service dogs for PTSD and other  psychiatric conditions . yes it is for everyone but it was done for their disabled vets . in the US they have a lot of respect for patriotism and seems to show itself in vets issues and to the extreme in disabled vets issues . to the American politician doing things for disabled vets  equals votes and doing something against disabled vets costs them votes. soooo they tend to be very proactive when it comes to vets issues.

no political party in the US would have survived the SISIP ore NVC issues. but then again these things would never have happened there.

the airlines don't want to allow these animals on their planes unless they get paid for it and will  avoid it if they can. why do you think they allow it to the US. this is for American vets not Canadian.

they know all to well if a US vet comes to Canada with his service dog and cant return with it his story will be seen over and over and over again AD NAUSIUM on CNN then transport Canada will end up changing their policy on PTSD service dogs. then they would have to allow every CANADIAN to fly with their service dogs all over the country without charging a fee and not just the odd AMERICAN going home.

THANK YOU AIR CANADA FOR TAKING CARE OF THE DISABLED US VETS. at least that's something.

as for transport Canada and the GOC. FRACK YOU FRACK YOU VERRY MUCH. every one needs something to hate.

always question authority

propat

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by bigrex on Fri 17 Jan 2014, 14:04

Rags, the breed should not detract form their usefulness as a service animal. Sure, typically most service animals are larger breeds, like Labs or Shepherds, but smaller dogs serve a purpose as well. Maybe the Veteran lives in an apartment that cannot accommodate a larger breed. Should she have to move? If you google images of PTSD service dogs, there are a coupel smaller breeds that show up, including Yorkies. Since these dogs are for comfort, and not for more practical purposes like keeping a blind person from crossing the street at the wrong time, or notifying a deaf person that there was a knock on the door, a smaller breed suites the role perfectly. I own a Yorkie and when my wife is home, she never leaves her side. She sits in her lap when watching TV and sleeps next to her feet at night. So this type of quality would be perfect for someone who need an animal to focus on, instead of allowing the destructive thoughts to surface.

As far as the soldiers trade is concerned, things have changed considerably since your release. Because of the extended stay in Afghanistan, in an attempt to limit a persons rotations over there, the CF deployed many trades that would not normally see combat action. My brother was put on a short list of Navy personnel to be deployed to the sandbox, as a PO2 Nav Comm, so a Sgt Int seeing combat isn't completely outside the realm of possibility.
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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Guest on Fri 17 Jan 2014, 19:21

propat your absolutely correct, there is either lack of respect for the Veteran in question, and or lack of knowledge and or understanding of what service dogs provide for Veterans suffering from PTSD. It is not only disrespectful to Veterans, but anyone who suffers from PTSD. In my opinion such actions as in this particular case could add to the stress already placed upon individuals who are already stressed out. I just hope that this incident is somewhat Isolated, and more attention and or education can be implemented to ensure that future incidents like this one, doesn't happened again. What Rex has suggested, maybe and avenue that can be looked at, to aid in having life made a little easier for those who requirer the use of service dogs.

Rex, I agree with you in stating that the type of dog is Irrelevant, the way I see it is simple, if it does the job, and or helps these individuals, that's what matters. Having said that, I do feel that any such dogs should be certified in the area to provide somewhat support for individuals who suffer from PTSD, before being granted total privileges. As I understand from some members of CSAT, who have stated that they purchased service dogs who were trained in this area. These trained dogs should be able to accompany these individuals as they travel. So your Idea of picture / certified service dog would make it much easier for those who suffer from PTSD, to travel hassle free.

Those that do not suffer from PTSD, may not fully understand how these individuals lead their lives, we are far behind on this issue compared to the US. Hopefully things will get better as more and more people get educated on the impact that this anxiety disorder can have on individuals.

Just my opinion.

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Re: AIR CANADA APOLOGIZES FOR TELLING SOLDIER WITH PTSD HER SERVICE DOG NOT WELCOME.

Post by Guest on Fri 17 Jan 2014, 21:35

trooper I agree bigrex has a good idea but unless the GOC and transport Canada recognize PTSD as a condition requiring a service dog the point is moot. you can be a infantry vet that has done 10 tours been in 50 firefights won 5 medals for bravery have the biggest service dog ever recorded trained 10 times with 100 ID tags around his neck he will still not be allowed.

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