A program called “Puppies in Flight” is training volunteers to accompany service dogs during air travel, and help deliver the pups to their new humans.
“When they’re on the airplane, it’s loud. There are a lot of vibrations, there are many new sights and sounds that the dogs are seeing.”
The practice runs occur on an American Airlines training simulator. Service dogs must remain calm and pawfessional in any situation, and the stress of commercial air travel is definitely a concern. Puppies in Flight makes sure that the pups will make for a smooth journey with both their humans and the public.
The pups aren’t crated, and sit beneath seats. No word on whether they’re free to roam about the cabin once cruising altitude is reached. And when a Lab needs the lav, Johnston says:
“You use the family assistance bathrooms in the airport, or you clean it up really well.”
Right now, American Airlines is training about 90 volunteers in three different cities. Interested in signing up? Learn more at Assistance Dogs International.