Release Date: 
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Applauds United Airlines for Prudent Service Animal Policy

Major air carrier’s policy on trained service animals remains unchanged

Baltimore, Maryland (February 6, 2018): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people, commends United Airlines for announcing that there will be no changes to its policies regarding travelers with dog guides and other service animals, as opposed to animals that may fit other categories.

“Blind people have worked for decades to make sure that dog guides are trained and managed in a manner that supports the equal treatment of blind people in public places,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “Every day, dog guides facilitate smooth and independent travel by the thousands of blind people who choose to use them, including my own wife. Unnecessary and burdensome notice and documentation requirements would have limited the independence of these travelers. We therefore thank United for continuing to recognize the qualifications of trained dog guides in its recently announced policy revisions, and we call on all other air carriers to adopt this same approach. We also urge United and the rest of the airline industry to engage with us to ensure that all aspects of the air travel experience, including in-flight entertainment and the use of mobile applications and websites, are accessible to blind people.”