Service dog Sun banned from Jetstar flight over ‘recognized training organization’ dispute

It’s been 13 years since Calum Sanderson last had the courage to fly out of Tasmania.

Finished again this year and just days before it was due to start, the airline’s rules messed up its plans.

Mr. Sanderson has a “severe anxiety disorder”, which makes it difficult for him to even go to the local shops on his own.

So the decision to book a Jetstar flight to the Gold Coast in January to see a friend was not taken lightly.

“It was me who spent months trying to figure out how to take the bull by the horns, sort out my finances and pay the ticket,” Sanderson said.

Mr Sanderson experiences panic and excitement when he is not accompanied by his assistance dog Sun, so he asked Jetstar for reassurance that the dog could come before booking his flight.

In an online conversation with Jetstar live chat agent Cyril, Calum’s father Tim Sanderson – who is a psychologist and works with people who use service dogs – was told that all it took initially to get Sun to fly was a letter from a GP and an assistance dog service ID card.

“However, you will need to contact us once you have booked a flight to apply for Jetstar Travel assistance dog admission,” the chat operator said.

Tim Sanderson (left) says his son Calum and his service dog Sun are allowed to fly.(ABC News: Loretta Lohberger)

After submitting the requested documentation, including an ID card for Sun from the nonprofit training and accreditation organization mindDog, Calum received an email stating that Sun did not meet the required criteria.


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