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Well, This Is Silly


A woman tried to board a plane with her emotional support peacock. United wouldn’t let it fly.

The headline alone is funny because the airline wouldn’t let the Peacock fly.

-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.

If you look at the picture of the bird in question, it’s not a small bird.

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.”

“We explained this to the customer on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport,” an airline spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday to The Washington Post.

The the [human] passenger contacted the airline three times to get them to agree to let her bring her “Emotional Support Peacock” on the flight. She even bought the bird a ticket, so that it could have it’s own seat.

The peacock’s owner, who was identified by the Associated Press as Ventiko, a photographer and performance artist in New York, told the news agency that she bought the bird its own ticket.

My cynicism runneth over. “Photographer and performance artist” generally translates into waitress. Harsh, I know.

In response to Jet Set’s post, many criticized passengers’ decisions to bring such animals on planes.

“Now its getting out of hand,” one person wrote beneath the Facebook post about the peacock.

“People are abusing this and causing those with true service animals difficulty,” another person added.

“Ridiculous to think she could fly with an bird this size. A very loud large bird,” another one wrote.

To which I’ll add my own comment. If you are too emotionally fragile to fly without a large bird to keep you company, you are too emotionally fragile to fly.

Federal guidelines specify that airlines must permit passengers with disabilities to board with trained service animals or emotional-support animals of many stripes, regardless of the animal’s potential to “offend or annoy” others on the plane. But airlines have some latitude to deny boarding to certain “unusual” service animals, including snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders. When deciding to allow animals such as miniature horses, pigs and monkeys, the airlines must determine whether the animal is a threat to the health or safety of others or would cause a disruption on the flight.

This is a commercial airline, not a bus in some Third World sh*thole. What are people thinking when they want to bring these animals on planes with them. Snakes on a plane? That’s a stupid idea, why would anyone ever think of that? Oh. That movie. Right.

Those statistics have added to the perception among airlines and some disability rights advocates that some people use federal law to fraudulently bring pets on to airplanes. Passengers traveling with animals for emotional support can be required to provide recent documentation from a mental-health professional for their pets, but the documents are easily forged or obtained from websites that provide questionnaire-style “exams.”

Like those websites that will prescribe certain performance enhancing drugs after their on line “doctor” reviews your request and writes a prescription. Totally legit, I’m sure. I’m sure that no one would ever think of trying to scam the airline out of the price of shipping a pet by claiming that it was an “Emotional Support Animal”. Nope, not ever.

If you search on Amazon for “Emotional Support Animal”, you’ll get vests, collars, ID cards (with picture), and even an outfit that will send you a certificate. You’ll also find an Emotional Support Dog Badge and Leather Wallet. I’ve never met a dog with pockets and I certainly wouldn’t want to try to pin that on one.

I was going to make a joke about an Emotional Support Kangaroo having a pocket, but comedy is dead.

McDonald’s not lovin’ it when woman shows up with her therapy kangaroo named Jimmy

A Wisconsin woman was kicked out of a Beaver Dam McDonald’s last week after she brought her baby kangaroo inside the restaurant and claimed it was a service animal.

Beaver Dam police Officer Rich Dahl told the Associated Press that the woman said the marsupial, which was wrapped in a blanket and tucked in a baby car seat, helped her cope with emotional distress and that she had a doctor’s letter to prove it.

What are the people at The Onion going to do now? They have no chance of making anything up that reality won’t trump.

Hopefully, the airlines will be able to develop some sort of parameters for this, uh, whatever you call it. Even more hopefully the FAA won’t “help” with that process.

I’ve flown on more than one flight with Emotional Support Dogs on it, but I wasn’t happy about it. Then again, I’m not happy when I end up in the “screaming baby” section of the plane either.

I have to wonder what happens (and you know it does) when a person with an Emotional Support Dog and a person who is deathly afraid of dogs are booked on the same flight or seated next to each other?

Nothing pleasant, I’m sure.

Not to mention what happens if one of those animals relieves themselves on the plane.

I have little doubt that this is going to, if it hasn’t already, become an issue for EMS services. If any of my EMS readers have had experience with this, I’d love to hear from you.

Life in the 21st Century is definitely now what I was promised.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. “‘Photographer and performance artist’ generally translates into waitress.”

    I don’t know about that, but “performance artist” universally translates to “level-9 screwball.” So there’s that.

    • Well yeah. The whole thing is out of control. I’d like to bring my “Emotional Support 9mm pistol” along because it makes me feel safe when traveling. Somehow though, I think that the airline, TSA, and the police at the airport might not approve.

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