Country music singer RaeLynn was traveling to a conference to speak about her Type 1 diabetes, and of course, brought her service dog, Jazz, along with her. It’s Jazz’s job to detect when RaeLynn’s sugar levels aren’t right, and he’ll alert her if so.
Because of the important role he plays in her life, Jazz travels everywhere RaeLynn goes. He’s been specifically trained for traveling on an airplane, and he knows how to lay under the seat to be as out of the way as possible.
While RaeLynn has traveled on numerous flights with Jazz without any trouble, such was not the case when she flew to the diabetes conference.
On Monday (April 9) RaeLynn took to Twitter, saying she had been “harassed by the flight attendant for the entire flight” because of Jazz.
RaeLynn finally elaborated on the story during an interview with Taste of Country. She said she usually isn’t one to complain, but knew she had to speak up about this experience.
According to RaeLynn, the flight attendant came around to her and told her that Jazz needed to be pushed completely under the seat before they could take off. Considering Jazz’s size and the size of the plane, RaeLynn explained why this was obviously a problem:
“This airplane was a small regional plane, and before we even took off, the attendant came up to me and told me that I needed to get the dog completely under the seat for take off. Jazz immediately started crying as I tried to fit him completely under the seat. I mean, if there had been turbulence, he would have been hurt.”
RaeLynn claims that the flight attendant kept circling back to her during the flight, and wasn’t pleased to see that Jazz wasn’t completely under the seat, telling RaeLynn she wasn’t being “compliant.” As they prepared for landing, RaeLynn says the flight attendant lectured her about Jazz once again, saying the plane couldn’t land until he was under the seat:
“There are certain regulations when it comes to service dogs and each airline handles it differently, but this flight attendant was extremely mean and completely disrespectful,” RaeLynn said. “I have never been asked to put a German Shepherd under a seat this size.”
Just for reference, here’s what the American Airlines website has to say about its policy regarding service animals:
“Service animals, including emotional support animals, are welcome at no charge if they meet the requirements. They must fit on your lap, at your feet, or under the seat, and cannot block the aisle. For security reasons, you won’t be able to sit in an exit row when traveling with your service or emotional support animal.”
RaeLynn says that the airline quickly got in touch with her after they heard about the incident.
What do y’all think of this whole ordeal? Let us know!