United Airlines denies peacock support animal to board plane in New Jersey
A woman planning to travel onboard a United Airlines plane this weekend was denied by the airline to bring her support animal with her because it was a peacock.
The woman attempted to board a flight on Sunday at Newark Liberty International Airport, even after several warnings, to the point she brought the peacock with her to the airport even though the answer was still “no.”
Photos surfaced online when Travel TV show “The Jet Set” posted images on Facebook of the large bird atop a luggage cart. Photos on Instagram also show the peacock, with the bird being recognized as “Dexter.”
Dexter is believed to belong to Brooklyn-based artist Ventiko, who had bought a ticket for the exotic bird so he would have a seat.
Video taken by another person in the terminal captured the bird owner first trying to bring the bird inside before she started walking with a luggage cart through the building with the peacock on her shoulder.
“I’m not kidding, this woman is wrangling her peacock into the airport, right now, wrangling a peacock in the airport,” says a woman off-camera. “That just happened. What the hell New York.”
According to Dexter’s Instagram, the bird spent about six hours in the airport before he and his “human friends” left, with the decision made to instead drive cross country.
Airlines are rethinking their policies toward support and service animals, after incidents of soiled cabins, bitten passengers, complaints about allergies and other issues, according to CNBC. 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.
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Support and service animals are allowed on a plane free of charge under the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act, but United Airlines said in a statement to Global News that “unusual service animals” such as snakes, ferrets, spiders, miniature horses and pigs are not allowed on their planes.
United says they spoke with the woman when she arrived in the airport lobby with her peacock.
“The animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size,” United said in a statement. “We explained this to the customer on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport.”
They added they require customers to provide documentation from a medical professional and 48 hours advance notice for emotional support animals to be brought onboard.
Since their departure from Newark, Dexter has taken photos in Indianapolis, Oklahoma and Missouri.
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