David Mulligan, a cerebral palsy sufferer, requested to fly with his assistance dog, Willow, but his request was denied by the management of Virgin Australia. When making this request, Mulligan provided paperwork and accreditations from his doctor and a dog training association to further support his request and demonstrate his need for assistance. Unfortunately, Virgin Airlines denied and then approved his request, only to deny it once again in the end.
This forced Mulligan to take buses and trains in order to visit relatives living a long distance away, which could result in 22 total hours of travel. Eventually, his doctor reported that Mulligan was “no longer able to cope” with such long distance road and rail travel.
As a result, Mulligan brought the case to Federal Circuit Court in 2013. Now, after 5 years, Virgin has been ordered to pay him $10,000 in compensation after an appeal overturned the decisions of another judge who ruled in favor of Virgin.