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Woman tries to take 'emotional support peacock' on United Airlines flight

01 February, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • The large bird was not allowed to board

But, if you need a peacock to leave the house, maybe you aren't one of the people who were meant to go outside.

A woman was recently denied her emotional support animal when she attempted to fly on United Airlines, a peacock. The animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size, United said.

A spokesperson says this was explained to the owner three times before they got to the airport.

The incident comes not long after Delta modified its guidelines regarding service and support animals in response to what it says were several unsafe incidents in the air.

The peacock is reportedly called Dexter, a rescue pet of Brooklyn-based artist Ventiko who documents the animal's life on social media. The incident took place in the lobby of Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday. They will require those traveling with emotional support or psychiatric service animals to bring a veterinarian health form and immunization record within 48-hours' notice. And in October 2016, Daniel, an emotional support duck, flew from Charlotte to Asheville, N.C., according to the Washington Post.


United Airlines refused to allow the bird on board, even when Ventiko offered to buy Dexter his own seat.

Photos of the scene were shared on Facebook by travel talk show The Jet Set, sparking online comments both condemning and praising United's decision.

Few of the airlines have reported that they have no way to verify if the passenger needs an emotional support. A note from a doctor is required. Data from airline companies suggest an estimated 100,000 animals travel in cabins in the USA every year.

"The rise in serious incidents involving animals in flight leads us to believe that the lack of regulation in both health and training screening for these animals is creating unsafe conditions across United States air travel", said John Laughter, Delta's senior vice president for safety, security and compliance.

Beginning March 1, the airline will require passengers with service animals to submit paperwork two full days before flying.

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