As I mentioned on Wednesday, there is technically no rule or law prohibiting the placement of pets in overhead bins. That may be a spirit/letter of the law issue, but at least two U.S. Senators want to fix that.
Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and John Kennedy (R-LA) have introduced legislation tasking the Federal Aviation Administration with creating explicit regulations prohibiting the stowage of a live animal in any overhead compartment. Steep fines be insured for non-compliance.
Their bill is entitled the Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act, or “WOOFF” act. (Typical…)
The bill seems in reaction to United’s solution to the problem: a promise to add a brightly colored tags to onboard pet carriers. Kennedy stated—
Pets are members of the family. Unfortunately, for our pets, they are at the mercy of human beings showing some common sense. United Airlines is promising to put special tags on pet carriers to help flight attendants in the future. I’d rather make it the law that animals aren’t to be treated like an old piece of luggage.
Recall, United updated its public statement late Wednesday to say:
To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets. This visual tag will further help our flight attendants identify pets in-cabin.
That’s great, but I still think that is putting lipstick on a pig. The problem is far deeper: I’m not sure even the core4 training will be able to overcome this.
This likely won’t be a stand-alone bill, but attached to the omnibus FAA reauthorization bill. We’ll see if it survives once the controversy dies down.