The past few weeks have been rough for some airline companies’ PR folks, with passengers being forcibly removed from their flight, assaulted by staff, denied boarding – and even a giant rabbit dying during transport from London to Chicago.

With all the things that could go wrong during a flight, being seated next to a dog would be the least of one’s worries. However, when it happened to Mark Halperin – a political analyst for NBC and MSBNC – on his Delta Airlines flight, he sent a tweet that read much like a complaint for the dog’s presence.

Predictably enough, other Twitter users were quick to disagree with him.

After some roasting, Halperin explained he wasn’t complaining about the dog’s presence at all: what concerned him was the fact the dog had been separated from his owner.

However, this version of the events was contradicted by the account of Anthony Pisano, owner of Charlie.

Pisano explained, in an interview to Slate, that the tweet was precisely what it had looked like from the first moment: a complaint over Charlie’s presence.

So it was the 10:45 red eye on delta. in first class the seating arrangement was A-BC-D seating. I had purchased 6A and 6B and Halperin was in 6C. The dog and I fly back and forth from California to NY 2–3 times a month. I am always aware to make sure to get the dog her own seat (she lays on the floor and sleeps) to ensure she doesn’t encroach anyone’s personal space. So I put Charlie (the dog) in 6A where she was great. She was in arms reach and everything was cool. Right before we took off the dog came and sat in between my legs for take off so she was secured. At this point halperin (I had no idea who he was) calls for a flight attendant and tells her that he refuses to sit next to a dog. Those were his exact words. At that point I noticed he took a picture of the dog which I just ignored. Next thing you know the lead flight attendant asked if I minded giving halperin 6A. It was so strange he wouldn’t even look or speak to me about it. If he would have asked me I would have obliged, no big deal. I couldn’t believe how rude this guy was carrying on as I sat right next to him. So I obliged, he moved into 6A and left his shoes and a mess in his little first class cubicle area. I politely brought him his shoes and belongings to which he literally looked the other way and that was that. I then woke up this morning to a friend sending me the article and was in shock reading his tweets. Mind you Delta did absolutely nothing wrong, the flight attendant were extremely accommodating to his wishes all while trying to make sure I wasn’t upset in any way. They handled the situation kindly and professionally.

 There can be several reasons why one may not want to be seated next to a dog, but there are better ways to handle it than sharing one’s displeasure on Twitter – and, this one time, it’s not the airline that needs to work on their PR skills.


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