I am a senior citizen with a hearing disability, and I have a service dog. I know there are rules concerning animals traveling on airlines. Could/would you please tell me what they are, and does my service dog ride inside the plane with me? She has her vest and patches, which she will be wearing. She will also have her health certificate, and I DO NOT want to put her in a cage or in the cargo hold and expose her to diseases. I am planning a trip to Canada and need to make the reservations. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
–Patricia, Jefferson, Ore.
Patricia, you shouldn't have a problem taking your service dog with you on the plane.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has rules that require airlines to allow passengers to fly with their service animals in the cabin on all U.S. airlines (Canada is similarly accommodating). Service animals are not pets, so there is no limit to the number of service animals that can be on any flight. Service animals do not need any health certificates to travel, and they do not need to be confined in containers or cages.
For speedy security screenings, the TSA offers some tips. The most salient points are that the documentation of your need is important, as are markings (which you have, given the dog's vest and patches). It seems as if you've taken care of both, so you should be fine.
And if you need to help TSA, DOT, or the airlines, to make sure they are following their own rules, you might want to print out this page, just in case, which lists the main points and your rights.