United bars woman and emotional support peacock from flight. Wait... what?

Last week, when I was writing about the increasingly common problem of people faking a need for “emotional support” animals to get around the rules for airline flights, I deliberately chose the most ridiculous sounding animal I could imagine for an example. If you’re flying, please leave your emotional support porcupine home. If I hadn’t gone with the porcupine and was forced to pick a substitute, the peacock probably wouldn’t be too far down the list. And yet a woman did indeed show up with one of those for a United Airlines flight this month.

Yes, this sounded like a made-up story to me, too. But there were plenty of pictures of the bird being shared online. It was going through the airport riding a luggage rack. But in a rare moment of common sense, striking a blow for the rest of the put-upon passengers, United gave both the woman and the bird the boot. (Fox News)

Birds of a feather may flock together, but United Airlines recently shot down one traveler’s request to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight departing Newark Liberty International Airport.

Live and Let Fly reported earlier this week that even though the unidentified woman claimed that she had a second ticket for the peacock, the airline denied her request.

A spokesperson for United further tells Fox News that the traveler(s) with the peacock were told they would not be able to bring it on board.

“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,” said United in a statement.

First of all, have you ever run into any peacocks in real life? The adults can be huge. That’s way too big to stuff into a seat on an airline and you can forget fastening a safety belt on the creature. They can also be really mean! There were a few kept as pets at a golf course I used to play at and if you got too close they would chase you and peck at you.

And I certainly don’t want to get a seat next to this woman and her bird just so it can defecate all over the row. If she had been allowed onboard the other passengers should have started a revolt and filmed the entire thing.

But that’s still not even the point here. As I discussed in the previous article, this is clearly a scam. Nobody has or needs an “emotional support peacock.” She obviously either got some sympathetic doctor with few scruples to write her a note or used one of those phony online services to get a document to show the airline. Rather than just denying her the opportunity to board, we need to find out who signed those bogus documents and get them out of the business of enabling this ongoing scam. Airl travel is dismal enough thanks to the airlines and their intentionally uncomfortable and crappy service. We don’t need the other passengers compounding the misery of the experience by bringing on a beast like that.

Click through to the Fox News story for the photos. If this woman was actually serious she needs more help than any therapist could provide. And if she just lost a bet or was trying to play a prank she should be relegated to driving to her destination next time.