Australia: Acclaimed author and poet is left 'distressed' after being barred from a Qantas flight because of her emotional support dog - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaAcclaimed author and poet is left 'distressed' after being barred from a Qantas flight because of her emotional support dog

18:06  15 may  2019
18:06  15 may  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Acclaimed author and poet is left ' distressed ' after being barred from a Qantas flight because of her emotional support dog . An acclaimed author has been barred from flying with her disability support dog . Fiona Wright, 36, has her dog Virginia to help with her mental health conditions.

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An acclaimed writer has been left in a state of distress after Qantas barred her from boarding a flight with her disability support dog.

Acclaimed author and poet is left 'distressed' after being barred from a Qantas flight because of her emotional support dog© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Fiona Wright, 36, has a flight booked from Sydney to Alice Springs on Friday to attend the NT Writers' Festival Fiona Wright, 36, has a flight booked from Sydney to Alice Springs on Friday to attend the NT Writers' Festival.

The Sydney-based writer is now unsure if she can attend the event after Qantas denied her request to allow her dog Virginia to board too.

Acclaimed author and poet is left 'distressed' after being barred from a Qantas flight because of her emotional support dog© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Sydney-based writer is now unsure if she can attend the event after Qantas denied her request to allow her dog Virginia to board too

Ms Wright has Virginia to help with her mental health conditions, which includes anxiety.

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Author Fiona Wright has been barred from taking her disability support dog onto a Qantas flight . Credit:Louise Kennerley. "[My dog ] is an assistance I can no longer do my job because I can't get on that plane. I've wanted to go to Alice Springs for a really long time. It's a wonderful festival and a great

Qantas is holding firm on its decision to bar an acclaimed author 's assistance dog from a domestic flight , citing federal aviation regulations. But award-winning Australian poet Fiona Wright, who was due to attend the NT Writers' Festival this weekend, has labelled the decision "deeply upsetting" and "out

Virginia was trained and certified by mindDog, a not-for-profit organisation based in New South Wales.

Despite providing extensive documentation seven weeks ago, Mr Wright's request has been denied, with Qantas claiming the service dog does not meet the required standards to fly in the cabin.

'It's been incredibly stressful and this is the case for a lot of people who live with disability, and especially psychiatric disability, ' she told ABC News.

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Emotional support animals are typically dogs , but are sometimes cats or other animals: they are intended to assist persons suffering psychological Any animal that provides support , well- being , comfort, or aid, to an individual through companionship, unconditional positive regard, and affection

Acclaimed Australian poet Fiona Wright was told she could not take her assistance dog on board a Qantas flight to Alice Springs. The award-winning poet and critic suffers from mental health conditions and has written a collection of essays that detail her experience with anorexia.

'I've done everything they've asked, spent hours chasing up qualifications and letters and forms from all of the people I've worked with, even answered insulting and probably-illegal questions about the nature of my disability,' she said on Twitter.

Who is Fiona Wright?

Fiona Wright is a writer, editor and critic from Sydney

She wrote Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger won the 2016 Nita B. Kibble Award and the Queensland Literary Award for non-fiction

Her book was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the NSW Premier’s Douglas Stewart Award

Her first poetry collection, Knuckled, won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award

'All of my evidence that my dog is a fully-trained and certified assistance dog is not enough for Qantas.

'This whole process has been deeply upsetting and taken up a ton of my time and energy. This is out and out discrimination Qantas, and I will be following this up with the Human Rights Commission,' she said.

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“ Emotional and verbal abuse can take a variety of forms. It can include name calling and saying hateful things. It can include constant comparisons between siblings, or calling a child “stupid,” or “fat” It can be mocking or holding a child up to shame, embarrassing her in front of her friends or even strangers.

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A Qantas spokesman told Daily Mail Australia the airline understood that 'this is disappointing for Ms Wright'.

He said they would be following up with the author.

'We've been working with her for several weeks to explain Qantas' requirements, including the requirements we need to ensure that the dog is trained appropriately to travel inside the cabin.

Acclaimed author and poet is left 'distressed' after being barred from a Qantas flight because of her emotional support dog© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Qantas is claiming the service dog does not meet the required standards to fly in the cabin

'Qantas is bound by federal legislation including CASA regulations to ensure all service dogs travelling in the cabin meet the required standards, including training standards.

'Unfortunately in this case, on the information provided, Qantas could not be satisfied that mindDog training met the training standards required.

'Qantas has successfully worked with dozens of other training providers to ensure their standards met Qantas' obligations under legislation and CASA regulations.'

Cath Phillips, the head of the mindDog organisation, told ABC News they stand behind their clients and their dogs.

'Qantas won't fly mindDogs although all of the other airlines do ... Virgin, Jetstar, and so far all international airlines that have been asked carry our dogs with no problems.

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