Passengers with severe allergies?

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I was getting my apartment ready for a cat, and thought the dust from cleaning was triggering allergies, and went for testing. I was right about the dust, but was very disappointed that I was very allergic to dog and cat, both of which I really like. (can't have dog where I live) The cat idea got scrapped. I still take care of my neighbor's cat when they are away, take allergy pills that week. I always thought it was hayfever because of the time of year when they take their trips.
 

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I was getting my apartment ready for a cat, and thought the dust from cleaning was triggering allergies, and went for testing. I was right about the dust, but was very disappointed that I was very allergic to dog and cat, both of which I really like.
Sorry to hear that. Testing indicates that I am allergic to cats and dogs but it has not prevented me from having them as pets. Compared to ragweed and mountain cedar the dander allergy barely even registers. Next time you have a cat visitor see if these suggestions help.

- Do any brushing outside with the wind behind you
- Wash your hands immediately after touching the cat
- Don't let the cat jump on counters, tables, or furniture*
- Use real HEPA filters for your HVAC and vacuum
- Consider a standalone HEPA filter for your bedroom

*People will tell you that cats cannot be trained but spraying a cat with water can train them to stay off counters and furniture
 

AmtrakBlue

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Sorry to hear that. Testing indicates that I am allergic to cats and dogs but it has not prevented me from having them as pets. Compared to ragweed and mountain cedar the dander allergy barely even registers. Next time you have a cat visitor see if these suggestions help.

- Do any brushing outside with the wind behind you
- Wash your hands immediately after touching the cat
- Don't let the cat jump on counters, tables, or furniture*
- Use real HEPA filters for your HVAC and vacuum
- Consider a standalone HEPA filter for your bedroom

*People will tell you that cats cannot be trained but spraying a cat with water can train them to stay off counters and furniture
I, too, am allergic to cats but have had cats all my life. I’ve never had allergy tests, though. Mine is triggered mostly after touching/petting my cat so I always wipe my hand on my clothes afterward or if near the sink rinse my hand.

My cat sleeps with me, too. Here he is as I type this. My eyes are a little watery but will clear up once I get up.

image.jpg
 
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I was getting my apartment ready for a cat, and thought the dust from cleaning was triggering allergies, and went for testing. I was right about the dust, but was very disappointed that I was very allergic to dog and cat, both of which I really like. (can't have dog where I live) The cat idea got scrapped. I still take care of my neighbor's cat when they are away, take allergy pills that week. I always thought it was hayfever because of the time of year when they take their trips.
When my first wife and I were in grad school, we were going to spend New Year's Eve with a high school buddy who had a cat. My wife got such a bad allergy attack that we had to crash at one of other guests' house. A few years later, when we had moved to Baltimore, I got home from a business trip and found my wife had decided to adopt a stray kitten she found in the back yard. She had some allergic reactions at first, but eventually got over it. When we split, she wanted to keep the cat, which I agreed to. She then later adopted a couple more stray cats. Go figure.

My current wife has no problems with cats. Our daughter adopted one a few years back, and she was a great companion to all three of us until her untimely passing, which coincided the start of the Covid epidemic. But we never tried to take the cat on Amtrak, or even on any kind of trip, except to the vet or to where we boarded her when we took trips. We still miss the kitty.
 

pennyk

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MODERATOR NOTE: Please try to keep your comments on the topic of passengers with severe allergies traveling on Amtrak.

Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and participation.
 

cirdan

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Coach would have the same issue as Sleeper as far as someone bringing some seafood to their seat and eating it there, though as far as I know there is no significant seafood available in the Cafe Menu. But that does not prevent someone from bringing their own on board.
I think sleeper should be safer than coach, as the door keeps out some of the smell, even if not all of it. It also offers you the security that you have no direct seat neighbors who may inadvertently spill food crumbs on the floor, on their (or your) clothes etc.

Relatively safer that is. It does not offer absolute safety.
 

cirdan

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I would have no problem with restricting pets to one car, but you could not legally bar (nor should you want to) a service dog, so it cannot be 100%

Why should it not be possible to restrict service animals to particular cars.

After all, the allergic mechanisms in your body are not going to make an exception because it is a service animal.
 
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cirdan

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When my first wife and I were in grad school, we were going to spend New Year's Eve with a high school buddy who had a cat. My wife got such a bad allergy attack that we had to crash at one of other guests' house. A few years later, when we had moved to Baltimore, I got home from a business trip and found my wife had decided to adopt a stray kitten she found in the back yard. She had some allergic reactions at first, but eventually got over it. When we split, she wanted to keep the cat, which I agreed to. She then later adopted a couple more stray cats. Go figure.
I have often heard such stories. My mother used to be allergic to cats until she inexplicably adopted a stray cat and then the allergy diminished.

It might possibly be that frequent exposure reduces the severity of the allergy.

But to get back onto topic, that is not going to help an allergic individual who gets to sit close to a person with a cat. Sometimes the cat does not even need to be present in person but things like cat hair on the other person's clothes or belongings can trigger the reaction. So just banning cats does not offer total safety.
 
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Why should it not be possible to restrict service animals to particular cars.

After all, the allergic mechanisms in your body are not going to make an exception because it is a service animal.
I don't believe that would be legal. My understanding is that service animals can not be restricted from areas of public access.
 

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I believe under current law service animals, disabled passengers, and assistants must be able to reach every part of every public area of every car of every train without delay or hindrance. Amtrak has a waiver for some requirements on older hardware but new purchases must cater to disabled passengers first and foremost. It is therefore unlikely that we will see a new multi level train on Amtrak. If you think the Texas Eaglet is small now wait till the single level version arrives.
 

Henry Kisor

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There are two considerations about service animals and allergies: the law and ethics. The ADA gives service animals priority in the law. Ethics requires compromise if at all possible, for both parties have health needs. Ethical service animal handlers will work with the attendant and conductor to find a solution that satisfies everyone. One solution might be to ask a roomette ticket holder in another car to switch rooms so that dog and allergic person are in different cars. In other words, in ethics my right to have a service dog does not trump your right to good health.
 

cirdan

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There are two considerations about service animals and allergies: the law and ethics. The ADA gives service animals priority in the law. Ethics requires compromise if at all possible, for both parties have health needs. Ethical service animal handlers will work with the attendant and conductor to find a solution that satisfies everyone. One solution might be to ask a roomette ticket holder in another car to switch rooms so that dog and allergic person are in different cars. In other words, in ethics my right to have a service dog does not trump your right to good health.
I agree.

In essence most people are reasonable and will seek a compromise rather than expecting their rights to trump the rights of others.

Sadly, there are individuals who do not share this view and think they need to fight for their own particular cause with all means that are available to them, and play the victim card at every opportunity.

If everybody was infinitely reasonable, we wouldn't need any laws as we could work out any conflicts through reasonable compromise and by seeking to understand and accommodate the interests of the other party.

Laws and regulations are there precisely because sometimes reasonable compromises are not possible.
 

Bonser

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Why should it not be possible to restrict service animals to particular cars.

After all, the allergic mechanisms in your body are not going to make an exception because it is a service animal.
And to particular sleeper rooms too. That way extensive cleaning can be targeted to those rooms. Having pets/service dogs anywhere just compounds the problem for the vast majority of petless riders who now seem hostage to riders with pets. Almost all dogs I see on trains now seem to be of the non service variety.
 

Qapla

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Many stores, like Walmart, have spaces in the parking lot set aside for "Handicapped/Disabled" and you must have a permit to park there. However, the same requirement is not in place for using the electric "handicapped" carts inside the store. hat is the reason that, quite often, legitimate persons with the proper documentation to park in the handicapped/disabled parking cannot find a cart to use in the store. They are either broken or being used by customers who do not have "documented" disabilities.

Amtrak is no different. Many who bring their pets claim they are "support" animals although this claim is not documented. However, Amtrak, like Walmart, is not able to restrict such claims/usage to only "documented" cases.
 
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Amtrak does not recognize, nor is required to carry "support animals" Only service dogs are afforded protection under ADA on Amtrak. Anything else is a pet and should be required to follow the rules for pets. The scammers and liars only make it harder for the legitimate owners of service dogs to get the acceptance they well deserve.
 

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There are two considerations about service animals and allergies: the law and ethics. The ADA gives service animals priority in the law. Ethics requires compromise if at all possible, for both parties have health needs. Ethical service animal handlers will work with the attendant and conductor to find a solution that satisfies everyone. One solution might be to ask a roomette ticket holder in another car to switch rooms so that dog and allergic person are in different cars. In other words, in ethics my right to have a service dog does not trump your right to good health.
If everyone was like you there would be no problem. Unfortunately not everyone is like you. Any system that depends on only ethical people using it is a system destined to be abused.

Amtrak does not recognize, nor is required to carry "support animals" Only service dogs are afforded protection under ADA on Amtrak. Anything else is a pet and should be required to follow the rules for pets. The scammers and liars only make it harder for the legitimate owners of service dogs to get the acceptance they well deserve.
The only thing that separates a service dog from a support dog is what the passenger chooses to call it. The moment Amtrak (or anyone else) attempts to verify anything they're risking regulatory fines and public outrage. I've yet to find a situation where self-policing makes any sense but the ADA has made it clear that easy abuse is preferable to putting any responsibility on the owner.
 

alpha3

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The only thing that separates a service dog from a support dog is what the passenger chooses to call it. The moment Amtrak (or anyone else) attempts to verify anything they're risking regulatory fines and public outrage. I've yet to find a situation where self-policing makes any sense but the ADA has made it clear that easy abuse is preferable to putting any responsibility on the owner.
No, that's not quite true. Naming it a service animal doesn't make it so. Real service animals such as seeing-eye dogs, and alert animals that detect strokes or other medical conditions receive extensive training. They're also expensive as heck, due to all that training and behavioral teaching that goes into it.

You can tell the difference immediately, too, between these fake emotional-whatevers, and a real service animal. Service dogs won't bark, fuss at other people or pets, defecate or urinate inappropriately. They're quiet and well behaved, and their attention is almost always focused on the owner. All these other 'support' animals are, in the end, just pets. People buy fake vests and badges for them online and expect you to give them deference.
And, when you suspect a support animal instead of a service one, aside from observing the animal's behavior it IS permissible to ask certain questions; ''what service does your pet provide to you?'' is one.
Before I retired, I used to get this crap all the time, plus some folks who had weird ideas of what a ''support pet'' was. Emotional support turkeys, ducks, even horses. There was one woman who tried to get thru security with a family of hamsters in her purse.

Unfortunately, because these 'support' animals are not trained, there have been some real serious issues on board flights; one particular one I won't forget is a man flying to ATL had an emotional support dog and owner next to him. The dog suddenly lunged at him, got hold of his face, and caused some serious injuries.
 
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