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United Denies Flight to Passenger with Emotional Support Peacock

The bird had a ticket, but the airline said no. 

On the tails of Delta Airlines announcing stricter guidelines for passengers claiming emotional service animals, United Airlines recently refused service to a woman and her peacock.

The Jet Set shared an image over the weekend of the unidentified woman and her peacock, which she was claiming as an emotional support bird, at Newark Liberty International Airport. The United passenger said she even bought an extra ticket for her peacock, according to Live and Lets Fly, a travel blog.

Even thought the peacock had its papers, and a ticket, the airlines refused the passenger on the United flight. A spokesperson for United Airlines told Fox News:

"This animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size. We explained this to the customers on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport."

Emotional support animals have less regulations than service animals, which must go through rigorous training to perform tasks for a range of disabilities. Pet owners have been taking advantage of the lack of regulation surrounding emotional support animals and companies, like airlines, are starting to notice. There aren't many strict guidelines to get your pet certified as an emotional support animal; there are even websites that will sell you a certificate and vest online. Emotional support animals are then given the same privileges as service animals, which causes problems. Delta reported an 84 percent increase of anima-related incidents including a mauling, fights with other service and support animals, and many instances of defecation and urination

United Airlines currently accepts trained service animals in the cabin with the disabled passenger. The pet must sit in the floor space in front of the seat and cannot wander the aisles. While emotional support animals are also welcome on flights, appropriate documentation and immunization records are required.

Since this attempt to fly with an emotional support peacock, United Airlines may follow Delta's lead with new rules and deny certain animals on board. Delta will not allow these types of animals on their flights, according to their stricter regulations announcement earlier this month:

  • Hedgehogs
  • Ferrets
  • Insects
  • Rodents
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Gliding Possums
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Goats
  • Poultry
  • Horned Animals
  • Hooved Animals

Have you seen strange animals on an airplane? Tell us in the comments below.

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