A traveler flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey was told that her emotional support peacock would not be allowed to join her on her flight. According to Fox News, the woman bought a ticket for the bird but was told by United Airlines it would not be allowed to board the plane.
Despite being told three times by the airline that the bird would not be allowed to board, the woman showed up to the airport with the bird anyway.
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.
Photos of the majestic bird were uploaded to the Facebook page for The Jet Set, a travel-themed talk show. Commenters on the post were split over whether the airline should have allowed the ticketed bird to board the flight.
As the use of emotional support animals has increased, airlines have struggled to create policies that balance the needs of passengers who require them, federal law, and the safety and comfort of other passengers. Many airlines currently require medical documentation be provided at least 48-hours before the flight.
Delta Airlines has a new policy set to being in March that will require extra documentation about the support animals and their training. The airline said it would no longer allow "exotic emotional support animals including ferrets, insects, spiders, goats or animals with tusks or hooves to fly."