According to reports, the incident took place Monday on American Airlines Flight 3506, which was operated by Envoy Air, an American Airlines subsidiary.
A male flight attendant had to get five stitches on his left hand after being bitten by an emotional support dog on the flight. He received medical attention upon returning to Dallas. The breed of dog remains unknown.
"What happened on yesterday’s American Airlines flight is completely unacceptable and inexcusable,'' the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said in a Tuesday statement.
According to the union, trained service animals should most certainly be allowed on flights to help passengers. However, the union contends that the industry needs to tighten regulations for emotional support animals, especially those that aren’t trained.
"We need the [US] Department of Transportation to take action now, so events like the one that happened yesterday do not continue to occur on our planes,'' the statement said. "This is fundamentally about maintaining safety, health and security for passengers and crew, while ensuring accessibility for those who need it.”
In March, American Airlines tightened its emotional support animal policies by limiting such animals to cats and dogs and requiring passengers to provide the animals’ vaccination details to the airline.
This is not the first time that an emotional support dog has attacked someone on a plane. Last year, a child was bitten by an emotional support dog on a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Portland, Oregon from Phoenix, Arizona.