American Airlines bans pits, Rotts, Dobies
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2002:
NEW YORK CITY–American Airlines on July 27 banned pit bull
terriers, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, and related mixed
breeds from all flights. Puppies from eight to 12 weeks of age are
The ban took effect five days after a 68-pound pit bull broke
out of an approved molded plastic travel carrier en route from San
Diego to New York City, tore an 18-by-8-inch hole through a
fiberglas bulkhead, and chewed through four insulated cables in the
electronics bay of the plane, a Boeing 757.
American Airlines spokesperson Gus Whitcomb told Steve
Huettel of the St. Petersburg Times that the dog “damaged cables for
one of two radio channels, a device for exchanging data with the
airline dispatchers, and a backup navigation system,” putting the
plane out of service for nine days and nearly forcing it to make an
emergency landing. The flight carried 125 passengers and a crew of
Ironically, Whitcomb helped to make policy and training
changes during the early 1990s that made American Airlines reputedly
the most animal-friendly of major U.S. air carriers.
Continental Airlines has restricted which dog breeds it will
fly since 2001. Southwest Airlines refuses to fly any animals.