Dog Ruled Not Famous Enough for Delta's First Class
Photo via The Wild Institute
Well-known team building and leadership speaker Chris Heeter relies on her rescue retriever mix Tuu Weh to entertain and motivate during her presentations, so it's no wonder she was disappointed to learn that Delta Air Lines doesn't consider her four-legged partner a big enough celebrity to be granted first class access.
According to CBS Minnesota, Heeter and her travel agent tried to get the special exemption for Tuu Weh on a recent flight to Dallas for a two-day leadership forum at LEAD2015, but were unsuccessful when Delta deemed the dog not famous enough to qualify.
"She would have to be a celebrity of her own right, like recognizable without a person attached," said Heeter. "And they didn’t think she qualified for that."
The question then becomes, does any real-life dog meet that criteria?
"She really is a celebrity, so I just assumed she'd be going and traveling in the way in which is accurate for her," added Heeter, referring to Delta's policy that allows select celebrity dogs to fly in the first class cabin.
In response to Delta's disappointing ruling, some of Heeter's friends created a petition on Change.org in hopes of influencing Delta to reconsider.
Regardless, the Wild Institute founder said she isn't angry with the policy or the airline, rather confused as to what constitutes dog fame.
Heeter definitely isn't alone in that aspect.
A spokesperson for the airline stressed the carrier's efforts to be pet-friendly and pointed out that safety concerns stemming from a dog roaming around in first class are the primary reason only a few celebrity pooches have ever seen a first class cabin.
While Tuu Weh apparently isn't A-list just yet, it's possible the petition could change that.
More by Patrick Clarke
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