A newly released video has put valley-based US Airways in a tough position. A Vietnam vet with a service dog got into a heated discussion with a flight attendant and then was escorted off the plane for security reasons.
Video: "No! I'd appreciate if you'd get the hell off this ground and get where we're going!"
Emotions ran high onboard a US Airways flight from Phoenix to El Paso. This video has gone viral.
"I'm sorry folks but I've earned the right to have this service animal because of my service to this country in Vietnam. I am 100 percent disabled, I have a service dog because of it and everyone has to obey the ADA laws except this airline! So I'm sorry but I'm not budging!"
This passenger wants his service dog, a golden retriever, to remain seated on the empty seat next to him.
A US Airways spokesman said the rules are pretty clear. Service animals are to remain on the ground and under the seat in front of you.
"If the aircraft were to experience something in the air and it needs to evacuate you don't want that animal to be in the way of people getting off the aircraft," says US Airways spokesman John McDonald.
McDonald says there was also the safety of other passengers at risk here. The man told airport personnel he suffered from PTSD. They worried he would get even more upset in the air.
"We had had conversations to the customer trying to explain what was going on. And the captain was involved when the flight attendant wasn't able to resolve it and in fact, many of our captains are former military people, this is an issue we are very familiar with and unfortunately this gentleman's reaction was what resulted in the incident."
The Saturday flight was delayed. US Airways says it handled the situation as best it could.
Airport police cited the man with trespassing and booked him on another flight.
There wasn't another flight out on Saturday, so the man was rebooked on Sunday flight. US Airways covered the cost for a hotel room for the night.
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