Airport drama over guide dog

2015-02-13 08:33

A blind church minister has lodged a complaint against the Airports Company South Africa because an official would not let his guide dog travel with him, Beeld reported today.

Willem van Deventer, his wife Claire, and his dog Tonto almost missed a family wedding in Cape Town when an official at the OR Tambo International Airport would not let the dog fly with them.

When Van Deventer booked the flight in October last year the travel agent said there would be no additional rules relating to Tonto.

But an “arrogant and rude” official insisted on a health certificate and a certificate proving that the dog was registered with the South African Guide Dogs’ Association.

Gail Glover, chairperson of the association, intervened and the Van Deventers and Tonto were squeezed on to a later flight.

Airports Company spokesperson Unathi Batyashe-Fillis said the company had a policy that airlines should notify the company of the departure of animals two days before the flight.

The official had the right to invoke procedures but not in the way alleged, she said.

“His alleged behaviour is being investigated.”

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