SPOKANE, Wash. – An emotional support peacock ruffled some feathers at a New Jersey Airport on Saturday. His owner bought him his own seat but he was denied access to a United Airlines flight.
Spokane International Airport leaders said they typically see dogs and cats come through the airport, but it does not make the rules on what pets can or cannot board a plane, it is actually up to the airlines.
Most airlines allow emotional support animals, but require passengers to submit paperwork and give at least 48 hours notice. Not all emotional animals fit their criteria.
There are several animals airlines will not allow on the plane due to safety or public health concerns. Those animals include hedgehogs, ferrets, rodents, snakes, goats and non-household birds, like the emotional support peacock one woman tried to bring with her from New Jersey.
Travel show Jet Set posted a video showing Dexter the peacock making his grand entrance. United Airlines gave a statement saying this unusual support animal violated their policy by not meeting the guidelines for size and weight and say they explained this to the customer three separate times before they arrived at the airport.
In 2016, you might remember Jodie Smalley who boarded a plane from Seattle to San Francisco with her emotional support turkey named Easter. Smalley and Easter have successfully flown together twice on Virgin airlines. Now most airlines no longer allow any type of poultry on their aircraft. KREM 2 asked Smalley about Dexter the peacock being denied access to its United Airline flight.
“No, I don't think they should have denied her because it's an unusual animal. But the fact of its size, like the tail once again, could just be kind of in everybody else's face, that's a reason I could see being valid,” Smalley said.
Many people on social media disagreed. Although you may not like the rule, your peacocks and turkeys will have to stay home.