Monday, April 23, 2018

Alaska Airlines pony up: Updated emotional animal policy bans snakes, but permits miniature horses

FAIRBANKS — Alaska Airlines has updated its policy on emotional support animals. To no surprise, snakes, spiders and animals with horns are not allowed on the commercial passenger airline. However, the policy clarifies that miniature horses are, in fact, permissible. 

Beginning May 1, all emotional support animals will receive their own boarding passes with tips and tricks for making their flight a success. 

According to the airlines, the policy has been updated to prohibit hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, amphibians, goats and animals with tusks, horns or hooves. 

“There is an exception for trained miniature horses,” Tim Thompson, spokesman for Alaska Airlines, told Alaska Public Media.

According to officials, the airlines has had problems with emotional support animals getting lose on the plane and sometimes even biting passengers or flight attendants. 

“We are making these changes now based on a number of recent incidents where the inappropriate behavior of emotional support animals has impacted and even injured our employees, other guests and service animals,” Ray Prentice, Alaska Airlines’ director of customer advocacy, said.

In addition to updating the list of approved animals, the airlines has also clarified that passengers traveling with emotional support animals must provide the airline with animal health and behavioral documents; a signed affidavit affirming that the animal is trained and that the passenger is responsible for all liability for any injuries or damage to property; and a letter from a medical doctor or mental health professional, at least 48 hours before the flight. 

This policy change comes on the heels of a recent discovery that the number of emotional support animals traveling on airlines has increased dramatically in recent years. 

Every day, about 150 emotional support and psychiatric service animals travel on Alaska Airlines.  

According to a news release, the policy change does not apply to Alaska’s policy for traditional service animals.

Original article can be found here ➤

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Carolina General Aviation says goodbye to Horace Williams Airport (KIGX) with final flying event

With a little over a month remaining until the closure of Horace Williams Airport, Carolina General Aviation hosted its second flying event Sunday.

Experiencing unusually high levels of traffic, Horace Williams Airport was filled with both passengers and planes. Carolina General Aviation brought in about 24 people for an aerial tour of the University.

Everyone was divided into groups that took off at different times, with the flight generally lasting for about twenty minutes. Founder and Vice President of Carolina General Aviation Daniel Schwartz and President of Carolina General Aviation Sevryn Schaller were the two pilots taking students on aerial tours.

During the pre-flight check, the pilots gave a brief description of the different parts of the plane. They then turned on the engine and propeller, and the plane taxied toward the runway.

The winds were slow, the clouds were few and the sun was shining bright as the planes rushed toward the sky.

Sophomore member of Carolina General Aviation Shannon Grant flew more than once Sunday and encouraged all those who have never flown general aviation before to grasp the opportunity if it comes their way. 

She also said that general aviation is more about experiencing the flight, while commercial aviation is focused on getting from one place to another.

“I would never have flown in my life probably if I hadn’t been in this club or it hadn’t existed,” Grant said.

Students had the opportunity to fly the plane for a short time, but there was a small surprise waiting for them, which Grant said was her favorite part of the flight.

About 10 minutes into the flight, students had the opportunity to experience zero gravity. In Schwartz’s plane, he adjusted the controls and within seconds the forces of gravity weakened, letting people float like they were astronauts.

Scheduled to close in May, Schwartz advocated in favor of keeping Horace Williams Airport open to the transportation policy adviser to Rep. Tim Moore, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Schwartz was notified Friday that the General Assembly is probably not going to step in and prevent the closure of the airport.

The General Assembly prevented the closure of the airport in 2002 and for many this was seen as a means of last resort to keep the airport open again this year.

Schwartz said the club held the event to introduce students to general aviation, but also as an opportunity to say goodbye to the airport.

Schaller said even if the airport closes, Carolina General Aviation will continue at Raleigh Executive Jetport. Raleigh Executive Jetport is about a 35 minute drive, but is only a four minute flight to campus. He hopes the club will continue to grow and introduce more people to general aviation.

“But also it’s sort of like saying goodbye, you know what I mean, because we still have hope, but they’ve set a closure date and we’re doing our best to keep it from happening, but at this point … this may have been the last time that we ever take off at that airport,” Schaller said.

Original article can be found here ➤