Why Does Dog Travel First Class on American Airlines? Ordinarily when animals travel by plane they are limited to the cargo hold of the plane. Exceptions are made however when the animal in question is a service animal. This is just the case with the extremely large dog that travels with interior designer Kari Whitman. In addition to her career as an interior designer, Whitman also founded Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue which is based in Beverly Hills, California. The animal named Hank is trained to detect seizures and do so quite effectively even though he is slightly disabled himself. Fortunately, his disability does not affect his ability to be a successful service dog.
Hank has an illness that caused him to gain an excessive amount of weight. Because of his obesity the huge animal is not able to move around freely as other animals are. For this reason, he uses cart on wheels topped with pillows. When you think about traveling in style you can think about Hank and you wouldn’t be far off the mark. His luxurious lifestyle even extends to him flying first class right alongside his owner Whitman.
Because of his service dog status whenever Whitman flies she not only purchases a first class ticket for herself but she also purchases one for Hank as well. Although she does purchase a seat for Hank he generally spends the flight on the floor at the feet of his beloved owner. Whitman rescued the animal from death in a Los Angeles shelter and he has pretty much been by her side ever since.
Hank gets a huge amount of attention whenever he and Whitman travel – he even has his own Instagram page. For many animals like Hank this kind of attention might be spoiling or lead him to seek out attention but such is not the case with Hank. He simply takes all this attention in stride and continues on about his regular activities.
You might think that some people would have a problem with a dog in first class – especially one as large as Hank. You would be mistaken however as there has never been a hint of animosity about him joining Whitman in first class. Most people are so in awe of his size that they are greatly enamored of him. When they hear that he is also a service animal it is just like icing on the cake so to speak. For most people that makes him a special kind of animal and generally welcome as such.
Hank travels with Whitman often so if you see a hulking gentle giant on the same flight that you are on don’t be alarmed. It is just your friendly neighborhood Hank keeping his owner safe just like he is supposed to do. Service dogs are a special kind of animal and Hank is no exception. He might have his own special disabilities but that certainly does not prevent him from doing what he was trained to do – detect seizures. Hank is lucky to have been saved by Kari Whitman and she is certainly fortunate to have a service animal such as Hank by her side.