United Airlines employees at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey recently told a passenger that her emotional support peacock wouldn’t be able to accompany her on her flight.
It may sound bizarre to bring a peacock on a plane, but give the woman credit for persistence: She reportedly tried several times to get the bird on board and even offered to buy a separate ticket for it, but airline employees nixed every request, according to the travel blog Live and Let Fly. The passenger’s identity was not released.
“This animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size,” United said in a statement to Fox News. “We explained this to the customers on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport.”
United told Business Insider that passengers need to “provide documentation from a medical professional and at least 48 hours advance notice” before bringing an emotional support animal onto a flight.
As you might expect, many people rushed to Twitter in an attempt to understand what it all means.
Others suggested that needing an emotional support peacock in the first place was a sign of deeper issues.
However, one person correctly pointed out that a peacock on a plane is preferable to other loathsome situations aloft.
United Airlines’ anti-peacock protocol comes at a time when other airlines are tightening up rules on support animals.
Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines announced that passengers who want to bring service or emotional support animals aboard must show proof of vaccinations 48 hours in advance of the flight. They must also prove that the animal is trained well enough to handle a flight, according to Travel + Leisure.
Delta decided to enact stricter rules after noticing an 84 percent increase since 2016 in incidents involving untrained or poorly trained animals.
The problems included animals peeing and pooping on the plane, and biting passengers or crew members. One passenger was mauled by an emotional-support dog, according to Business Insider.