A peacock on a plane? Yes it gets stranger and stranger – the whole idea of emotional support animals. Now I am no psychiatrist and I am sure there are very real ways some animals can calm, heal and reassure us humans. Just a few weeks ago there was a story on Global News of a lady in Calgary who has chickens as emotional support animals and her fight was to enable her to keep them on her property.
Now that’s one thing – but taking a peacock on a plane??? I feel a bit sorry for the lady in question because she had even taken the step of purchasing a seat for the bird. That made me pause for thought. I wonder what she put in the name field on the reservation – Percy Peacock maybe – and of course the airline would have no idea until she arrived at the check in desk.
Now there are all sorts of animals that have been taken on board as an emotional support animal and it is a really tough thing for the airlines and for the other passengers on board. Animal allergies have been raised. Some people are deadly allergic to dogs and cats. Not to mention that some strange emotional support animals are really really scary.
Like this –
or this …. AAAAAARGH!
So if you have a fear of creepy crawlies you might be in need of some emotional support.
There have been pigs, ducks, turkeys and even miniature horses taken on flights. Some ask when is this going to stop? A recent article in the Washington Post reported –
By Karin Brulliard | Washington Post
When Marlin Jackson arrived at his row on a Delta flight from Atlanta to San Diego in June, the middle seat was already occupied by a man with a sizeable dog on his lap. Jackson squeezed by them to his window seat, and the Labrador mix lunged at his face. The attack lasted about 30 seconds, according to Jackson’s attorney, and left him with facial wounds that required 28 stitches and scars that are still visible today.
The mauling, which Delta said was inflicted by a canine identified as an “emotional support” animal, was among the thousands of incidents that just pushed the nation’s largest airline to tighten rules for passengers flying with service or comfort animals. In announcing the changes earlier this month, Delta said it flew 250,000 animals in those categories last year, an increase of 150 percent from 2015, while “incidents” such as biting or defecating had nearly doubled since 2016.
The debate goes on and everyone (at least in the States) seem to be citing their Federal Rights – those who need support animals and those who suffer badly from asthma or other allergy problems.
Thank you so much for posting on this topic! As a blind travel agent, Who uses a guide dog, the subject is really important.
One of the major issues, as I see it, is that the Air Carriers Access Act is not in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA limits service animals to dogs trained to do a certain task for a person with a disability (i.e. Guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired, hearing dogs for the deaf and hearing impaired, etc.). If only the Air Carriers Act weren’t to limit emotional support animals as dogs, much of this would be dealt with. Also, the issue with the term emotional support animal has no requirements, unlike a service dog. While my Guide dog has the right to go places I can go, With some exceptions, I also have responsibilities under the ADA. I do think The way United Airlines’ approach should most likely be the standard for the moment.
Hi Will – thank you so much for commenting on this post. I read something the other day about a blind lady with a guide dog on a plane and she was explaining about how well trained guide dogs are in start contrast to “emotional support” dogs. It would seem that emotional support animals need more definition to enable airline staff to deal with this growing trend.
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The funny thing here is that I know a “Percy Peacock” – and he flies quite regularly – he’s a fellow cruise traveller with me often…
He does not, however, have a beak and colourful tail feathers – pity!!!
Oh I love that …. what a lovely old fashioned sort of name. I hope he at least wears a very colourful tie at dinner 🙂