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Airlines contacting a doctor?

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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 6:39pm PST 
I was just looking up airline regulations because someone on a non dog forum I am on asked about flying with a service dog, and I came across this:
http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/specialneeds/d isabilities/assistance_animals.aspx

This is the text: "Customers traveling with an emotional support or psychiatric assist animal must provide a minimum forty-eight (48) hour advance notification to United Reservations. The disability desk in reservations (1-800-228-2744) must receive and validate the required documentation prior to the time of travel. Verification of documentation will include United contacting your mental health care professional. If we are unable to validate the documentation or if the advance notification is not given, customers will be required to transport the animal as a pet, and pet fees will apply."

I also looked up the FAA guidelines and I didn't see anything about the airlines contacting the person's doctor. Is this really allowed?
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Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 6:55pm PST 
We who use PSDs or want to fly with ESAs are required to show a letter with our doctor's license number and letter head and the required text on it, but I am not aware that airline personnel would permitted by the ACAA regulations to use the information on the letter to phone the doctors--who cannot give them any medical information anyway, thanks to medical privacy laws.
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Isaac

1278829
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 12:02am PST 
The FHA applies to housing, not airlines. So I'm sure it doesn't mention anything about airlines contacting a doctor.

A psychiatric service dog is a service dog, not an emotional support animal. The AACA, the law that applies to airlines, allows the airline to require documentation regarding a psychiatric service dog just like they do for emotional support animals.
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Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 1:51am PST 
Sorry, you can ignore the quotes on my last post... I can't edit my post but I just saw that the date on that link was 2003, so apparently the info I quoted was outdated, so that answers my second question (I was looking at old info).

However I can't seem to find a copy of the new revised version, so I am not sure what it says about the requirements for ESA or psychiatric service dogs. So i am wondering about my first question still-- whether it is legal for an airline to contact a person's doctor about their ESA or psychiatric service dog before accepting them to fly.

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 1:55am PST

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Iris vom- Zauberberg

Service Werewolf
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 5:28am PST 
I don't believe that it was the intent of the ACAA to allow the airlines to phone doctors, but it is so invasive to begin with that I am not surprised that airlines are overstepping.

Is it against the law? I don't know. I know it's against the law for medical personnel to give information without a release, which the airline will not have.

I believe it's terribly wrong, though, and worth a complaint with the Department of Transportation.
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Scooter

Work hard; Play- harder.
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 21, '13 4:37pm PST 
They can contact the physician to ask 1. To confirm the physician did write/sign the letter 2. confirm the passenger is in fact, still currently "in treatment" (and not only being seen once a year to get a letter update).

Why do they do it? Blame it on people forging letters or using on-line companies to try to get around the system.
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Sun

1258882
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 21, '13 5:05pm PST 
I'm pretty sure they can call, but only to verify the authenticity of the letter. They are not allowed to ask any questions regarding the customer's treatment or other medical info.
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