United Airlines Refuses To Let Woman Fly With Emotional Support Peacock
It may be 2018, but you still can't board a plane with a giant bird on your shoulder.
If you're a regular flier, chances are you've noticed an increase in emotional support animals traveling in the cabin. But if not, it would have been hard to miss the full-size peacock a woman attempted to bring on a United Airlines flight out of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey this weekend.
First reported by The Jet Set on Facebook, a Brooklyn, New York-based artist named Ventiko showed up at the airport for her cross-country flight on Sunday with a carry-on bag, a personal item, and an adult male peacock named Dexter on her shoulder. Even though Ventiko had reportedly bought a second ticket for her avian friend, United ultimately denied her request to
"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," a spokesperson for the airline told Fox News.
As fun as it is to see a peacock at the bag drop in Newark, we wouldn't want to be stuck at 30,000 feet in a metal tube with a large, angry bird. People are bad enough, really. Emotional support animals do provide real value to people, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. For United, which does allow animals like dogs and cats on board, big exotic birds just don't make the cut.
Wary as United must be about kicking anyone off a plane these days, they're not alone in trying to limit the kinds of critters people are bringing on board for emotional support. Delta recently announced a whole new slate of restrictions and conditions, preventing animals like ferrets, spiders, or anything with hooves or tusks to fly in the cabin.
Because this is 2018, Dexter the emotional support peacock has already been bestowed with a parody Twitter handle for your enjoyment. And if you're curious about the real bird, he's got his own Instagram account as well, and the kerfuffle at the airport merely delayed the trip; a post from Sunday reveals that his "human friends" are driving him across the country instead.