The chances that Steve and I will someday fly somewhere with our current CCI puppy just increased substantially. I learned this in an otherwise routine-looking email from CCI this morning that announced Southwest Airlines has at least tentatively changed its longstanding policy regarding CCI puppy-raisers and their charges. Although all US carriers must allow working dogs to accompany their owners aloft, they don’t have to welcome pups in training, and Southwest has been among those that don’t.
Now, according to the announcement, Southwest has undertaken a 6-month trial in which CCI puppy raisers who present a valid ID and vaccination letter will be welcomed aboard with their dogs at no additional charge. Some minor restrictions will limit where they can sit, but the human-canine teams be allowed on after passengers with disabilities (in other words, before everyone else!)
Steve and I have never been tempted to take any of our puppies on an American Airlines flight (our main carrier for longer trips in the US), although I know some puppy raisers report great success with even cross-country flights. We might, however, consider taking one of our pus on a flight under 2 hours long — for which we almost always use Southwest.
We have no such travel planned in the immediate future, so who knows if Kyndall will benefit from this policy change? But at least I can salute Southwest for being flexible and generous in this way. (It’s just one more thing to make us want to fly them whenever possible.)