OPINION: Policy change may end love affair between UGA and Delta

Atlanta’s home-based airline, Delta Air Lines, was the recipient of the University of Georgia’s 2018 Friend of UGA Alumni Award and transported the team to Los Angeles for the 2017 Rose Bowl game.

However, with Delta’s new service and support animal policy which specifically bans “bull type dogs”, the long-standing love affair between UGA and Delta may have just come to a screeching halt.

On June 20, Delta announced its new policy that is set to go into effect July 10. The airline’s official website says the airline will “enhance its restrictions” by introducing a limit of one emotional support animal per customer per flight and no longer accepting “bull type dogs, hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, sugar gliders, reptiles, amphibians, goats, non-household birds, animals improperly cleaned and/or with a foul odor and animals with tusks, horns or hooves”.

To place what was named the 2017 top college mascot in the county by USA Today in the same category as insects, rodents, snakes and spiders may even be insulting to Georgia Tech fans. It is most certainly insulting to UGA fans and owners of the many bully breeds.

According to the American Kennel Club’s top breeds report, the French bulldog is the fourth most popular breed and the bulldog is the fifth most popular breed. Delta’s classification of “Bull type dogs” would include some of our nation’s most-beloved breeds such pugs, Boston terriers, English bulldogs, Boxers, Staffordshire terriers and American bulldogs.

Unless Delta plans on requiring DNA testing to prove a dog’s genetic makeup, the decision-making will presumably be based on a Delta employee’s visual assessment of the animal or on what the dog’s owner represents the dog to be.

Delta’s discriminatory policy of banning bull types is as absurd as the “one drop rule” that was commonly observed in the early history of our nation. Any person who had, or was assumed to have, one drop of African or Native American blood was considered non-White. Will any dog with a wrinkled snout be considered a bull breed by Delta employees?

Discrimination of any kind, in any form, is unacceptable, but Delta’s new policy that prohibits the mascot of the nation’s first chartered university is discriminatory to its core. For Delta Air Lines, which often touts its commitment to diversity, to single-out one broad-based type of dog certainly is a narrow-minded approach to policy making.

Expect extreme turbulence, Delta. UGA fans and others around the globe love their bull type dogs and if Uga can’t fly on Delta, fans probably won’t either.

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One thought on “OPINION: Policy change may end love affair between UGA and Delta

  • November 9, 2018 at 2:35 pm
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    As a UGA student, I experienced the death of several successive Ugas. It seems to me that due to the many health concerns of the breed, flight is likely not a good option for our mascot, and that Delta may indeed improve the lifespan of these Dawgs by not allowing them to fly.

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