Monday, 10 December, 2018

United Airlines' Service Animals Policy Tightens After Peacock Incident

Should there be tighter regulations when it comes to emotional service animals Should there be tighter regulations when it comes to emotional service animals
Nellie Chapman | 02 February, 2018, 22:44

Performance artist Ventiko wanted to take Dexter the peacock on the six hour United Airlines flight from New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport to Los Angeles. "Tomorrow my human friends are going to drive me cross country!"

There are some animals that airlines do not have to accept as emotional support animals, including reptiles, snakes, and spiders.

The updated guidelines are similar to changes by Delta Airlines that require documentation about the animal's training and vaccination records, USA Today reported. Delta Air Lines announced recently that passengers would be required to bring a signed document stating the support animal they wish to bring aboard is trained.

Each of the three largest airlines require notification about a comfort animals 48 hours before departure, with a note from a licensed medical professional confirming the passenger's disability and need for the animal. But have you ever heard of a service peacock?

American Airlines is reviewing its policies after the number of comfort animals on its flights increased by 15 percent previous year, and the Department of Transportation is mulling new guidelines as well, according to USA Today.

In addition, the airline also published a list of animals that have been barred from the cabin of its aircraft. And most importantly-where can I get an emotional support peacock? There are no changes in United's policy for service animals. Yet in recent years the rules have allowed a host of unusual and exotic animals to board planes for their owners' emotional wellbeing. "This is about maintaining safety, health and security for passengers and crew, while ensuring accessibility for those who need it".

The new policy, which will take effect March 1, comes days after a passenger attempted to bring a peacock aboard one of United's planes as an emotional-support animal.

Service animals, as defined by the Americans for Disabilities Act, are specifically dogs that are individually trained to assist people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disabilities. In 2014, a flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a dog pooped in the aisle.