US Man Books 3 Plane Seats To Fly His Dog, Leaves Passengers “Gobsmacked”

It was the dog’s first airline journey. (Representative Image)

A man in the United States left his co-passengers “gobsmacked and shocked” when he boarded an American Airlines flight to fly his huge Great Dane from Los Angeles to New York, as per a report in New York Post. Twenty-seven-year-old Gabriel Bogner paid for a total of three seats on the flight for himself and his five-year-old canine, Darwin, so that it could be comfortable during the journey. 

In the video making rounds on the internet, Darwin, the Great Dane, is shown boarding the aircraft, staring into the cockpit and even putting its head forward to check who is seated in the row in front of them. Mr Bogner also stated that this was his dog’s first airline journey.  

“People were absolutely gobsmacked and shocked, but everyone was so excited to see her. I’ve never seen so many people smiling at an airport,” Mr Bogner was quoted as saying by the outlet. He said that his 140-pound canine was “definitely a shocker for people walking through the airport to see a literal horse coming towards them”.

He added, “There were no issues, she was great and the entire crew was amazing. They did joke that she got an upgrade and I didn’t, but it was a very smooth trip.”

According to the Post, Mr Bogner revealed on TikTok that Darwin was considered too huge to fit in the airline’s largest cargo box, so he was obliged to purchase a row of seats to accommodate the dog.

The start-up founder also stated that after the canine spent some time on the plane’s floor, the flight attendants permitted the animal to lounge on the seats because of her size, which is unusual given the airline’s policy of prohibiting animals from sitting on seats. “They did joke that she got an upgrade and I didn’t – but it was a very smooth trip,” he told SWNS.

Mr Bogner, who has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, trained Darwin to be a service animal, which his doctors determined qualified the canine’s case. “I got Darwin as a puppy and immediately registered her as an emotional support animal due to a lot of anxiety just from growing up basically in a hospital and a lot of the trauma from having a chronic illness,” Mr Bogner said in the clip, as per the outlet. However, some people on TikTok were uncomfortable with Darwin’s status as a service dog due to the “lack of formal training”.

While Darwin does not execute many of the “advanced tasks” that other service animals do, it does accompany Mr Bogner to the restroom and calms his stomach ache by resting its head on his belly to offer warmth and pressure.

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