A brand new post-security “relief” area for pets will make a huge difference for anyone travelling with assistance dogs.
That’s according to Brad McCannell, Vice President of Access & Inclusion with the Rick Hansen Foundation, and the accessibility consultant for the YVR.
Until now, passengers had to leave the secured area if their pets had to relieve themselves – forcing them to go through the arduous process of security screening twice.
“So from a dog’s perspective, there is stress created there, and that’s never good news on a service animal. From the perspective of the team member, or the person with a disability – going through security is a total pain in the butt, just like (for) everybody else, so going through security twice is just a huge hardship.”
Promoting independent travel
McCannell says that old process of going through security twice could throw the timing of flights off, creating more inconvenience and stress.
The new area is further encouragement for people with disabilities to travel with their dogs.
“And the more we can keep our teams together, the more independent travel we can have because when we’re together and going, we’re truly independent.”
First airport in Canada to create such an area
Post-security relief areas are soon to become a requirement in the U.S. under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but there’s no legislation in Canada at this time.
“What is really is, is YVR leading the whole community in terms of showing the importance of creating independent movement for people with a disability – it’s not only socially important, but it’s economically important.”
The new post-security area is for only U.S. flights that allow pets to travel in the cabin, and that is dictated by each individual airline’s specific policy.
No word yet on whether or not YVR will create areas for domestic or international passengers travelling with pets in the cabin.