Assistance dog Sun barred from Jetstar flight in dispute over 'approved training organisation' - petsitterbank

Assistance dog Sun barred from Jetstar flight in dispute over ‘approved training organisation’

It has been 13 years since Calum Sanderson was last able to summon the courage to fly out of Tasmania.

This year, once again ready and just days before he was due to embark, airline rules threw his plans into disarray.

Mr Sanderson has “severe anxiety disorder” making it difficult for him to even go to the local shops alone.

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

“It was me psyching myself up for months to take the bull by the horns, lining up my finances, being able to afford the ticket,” Mr Sanderson said.

Mr Sanderson experiences panic and agitation when not accompanied by his assistance dog Sun, so he sought reassurance from Jetstar 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 assistance dogs — was told all that was needed initially for Sun to fly was a letter from a GP and an assistance dog ID card service.

“However, you will be needing to contact us back once you have booked a flight to request for a Jetstar Travel clearance for the service dog,” the chat agent said.

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

After sending through the requested documentation, including an ID card for Sun from not-for-profit training and accreditation organization mindDog, Calum received an email saying Sun did not meet the necessary criteria.

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