Fowl Play: Woman Denied Emotional Support Peacock on Flight

Many people have a small dog or cat registered as an emotional support pet. They may help with depression or anxiety.

One woman tried to pass off a peacock as her emotional support animal though, and the airport told her it simply wasn’t going to fly. Pun intended.

United Airlines refused to allow her pet on board, despite her emotional claims as she attempted to depart from Newark Liberty International Airport.

A spokesperson for United said, “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.”

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Fox News reports: 

Photos of the unusual scene were shared to Facebook by travel talk show The Jet Set, sparking online commenters to both condemn and champion United’s decision.

“Unbelievable, this has to stop now!!” one user wrote.

“I’ll take the majestic peacock over the 5+ dogs that have attacked my coworkers just this past holiday season,” another supposed airline staffer fired back.

The news comes on heels of Delta’s controversial crackdown of emotional support and service animals. On Jan. 19, the airline announced forthcoming restrictions in hopes of curbing an abuse of policy and an 84 percent increase in ill animal behavior such as urinating, defecating, biting and attacks on flights.

United confirmed that they are in fact looking at changing their animal support policies.

“United is dedicated to providing convenient and comfortable service to all of our customers,” their statement continued, “We know that some customers require an emotional support animal to assist them through their journey. In order to ensure we provide the best service to everyone on board our flights, consistent with government rules we currently require these customers to provide documentation from a medical professional and at least 48 hours advance notice,” they said via email.

“In our effort to better balance protecting our employees and customers while accommodating passengers with disabilities, we are reviewing our existing policy and plan to share more soon,” United concluded.

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