A Woman Tried to Board a Plane with her Emotional Support Peacock.

One of the worst parts about flying is that you’re trapped in a metal tube at 30,000 feet with people stupid enough to think they can bring their peacock on board:

K-9s, felines .?.?. and peacocks.

Airlines that have begun talking about tightening restrictions on a proliferating array of “emotional support” animals on commercial flights may have found their case bolstered this week after a picture of a peacock that was reportedly denied a seat aboard a United Airlines flight traveled far and wide.

The Jet Set, a travel-focused television show based in Washington, posted the photo on Facebook of the resplendent blue-and-green bird, saying that the “emotional support peacock” had been denied boarding on a flight at Newark International Airport.

United Airlines confirmed that the exotic animal was barred from the plane Saturday because it “did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size.”

7 Comments

  1. It sounds like United told her—multiple times before she even came to the airport—that her bird would not be allowed on the plane, but she tried anyway.

    I ended up reading more than I needed about the applicable laws. Fun fact: the ADA defines a service animal as a dog (and only a dog) trained to perform a specific task. “Emotional support” is specifically called out as not being covered by the act.

    But then there’s the Air Carrier Access Act, which never defines a lot of its terms, but is pretty clear about keeping people safe if someone tries to bring a wild animal on board.

    1. I’m getting the feeling that Emotional Support Animals are just a fancy way of getting your pet into places where animals aren’t allowed. This peacock one is just wonderful though. That’s pure chutzpah!

      1. From the ADA:

        When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

        If a person were awful, and wanted to get their dumb dog in somewhere, they just have to lie about a task. “This dog reminds me to take my pills so I don’t have seizures.” And that’s it, you’re done. You’re still an awful person taking advantage of a law meant to protect the disabled, but it’s really that easy: just lie.

      2. Worth noting, for awful people, there are fines and jail time available for falsely claiming an animal is a service animal. There’s no certification or real means of investigating or enforcing the law, but it does mean there’s a plethora of certification services for service animals. But again, their certification bears no official legal weight.

  2. Peacocks are filthy animals, plus the noise they make is incredibly loud. Its bad enough to have them in your neighborhood, but on a plane???

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