Blind woman’s guide dog was ‘run over’ in the feet on 2 WestJet flights

  • A blind woman flew from London to Canada with her guide dog on WestJet.
  • Chloe McBratney said her dog Emily was “crushed” in her feet on both flights.
  • WestJet said the third party used to book the flights did not request special arrangements.

A blind woman has slammed WestJet Airlines for ‘smashing’ her guide dog into the floor of her seat on two transatlantic flights, the BBC first reported.

Chloe McBratney, coach of Barry Town United’s pan-disability team in South Wales, flew from London to Canada and returned with her guide dog Emily.

She told the BBC she was “incredibly worried” for her dog’s well-being on both flights. “Emily was at my feet the whole time, but for anyone traveling by plane, that’s not enough space anyway and then putting a dog at your feet is even less space,” a- she declared.

WestJet apologized to McBratney but said the third party it used to book its tickets had not contacted the airline to ask for special arrangements, the BBC reported.

WestJet did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

McBratney could sense during her flight to Canada that Emily “couldn’t turn around properly – when I took her harness off I could tell from her demeanor that she just wasn’t comfortable at all “.

The airline advised her to cancel her tickets with the third party and book full-fare tickets directly with WestJet, she told the BBC.

“I booked my ticket five months ago and then called the airline. I asked for extra legroom right away,” McBratney said. However, he was told that they couldn’t make the special arrangements at the time and that closer to time there was nothing he could do as she had booked through a third party.

“It was an eight-hour flight, which for everyone is very long. It made it incredibly difficult for her and me too,” she told the BBC.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority told the BBC that airlines are not required to seat passengers with guide dogs in the front row, but many do so anyway.

WestJet told the outlet: “All guests traveling with service dogs provide us with at least 48 hours’ notice prior to their flight departing.”

Because the third party had failed to do so, McBratney’s options were limited to “purchasing an additional seat or upgrading to a seat with more legroom”.