If you are an "emotional support animal" that accompanies your owner on airline flights, your traveling days might be cut short in the future.
A woman attempting to fly out of Newark Liberty International Airport this past week was denied boarding with what she called her "emotional support" peacock.
In a statement, United told Fox News the woman had been told ahead of time that she would not be able to bring the peacock on the flight but showed up to the airport with it anyway.
However, according to the Emotional Support Registration of America, birds can qualify as emotional-support animals, and there is "no size discrimination allowed when it comes to Service Dogs and ESA's". As a passenger, would you want to be seated next to a peacock, even if it was across the aisle?
"I'm not kidding this woman is wrangling her peacock into the airport - right now, wrangling a peacock in the airport", a woman can be heard saying in the background of the video.
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The airline said that it was reviewing its existing policy and planned to share more soon. What are your thoughts on emotional support animals?
Beginning March 1, the airline will require passengers with service animals to submit paperwork two full days before flying. The airline said it had seen an 84% increase since 2016 in incidents involving improperly trained animals, including urination, defecation, and attacks on passengers and crew members.
According to the airline's website, qualified individuals with a disability may bring emotional support "dogs, cats, miniature horses, pigs and monkeys on flights to or from most destinations". Passengers who attempt to travel with emotional support animals will need to present a signed letter from a doctor or mental professional, as well as a signed document that states the animal can behave properly during a flight. Other "unusual animals" (with the exception of snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders, which are not permitted due to safety and/or public health concerns) may be accepted as an emotional support animal on a case-by-case basis.