Airlines are getting sick and tired of people trying to pawn off “emotional support” animals that aren’t used for service purposes just so they could bring them on their plane. I get it Janine, you love the goldfish that you just won at the fair last night, but just leave it at home in the bowl where it belongs.
In fact, some states are going so far as to impose hefty fines on air commuters who attempt to bring an animal on a plane that isn’t an actual service or emotional support animal. So if you ever dreamed of chewing honey-roasted cashews on a plane while your pet iguana is chilling next to you, well, I’m sorry.
Even though the crackdown’s begun on those who try to bring their beloved pets into the plane’s cabin with them, (which I don’t fault them for because they legitimately fear for the safety of their pets’ lives), that hasn’t stopped some people from attempting to game the system anyway.
Like this woman who couldn’t fly, under any circumstances whatsoever, without the company of her emotional support squirrel. That’s right. Squirrel.
Now, I admit that squirrels are cute, adorable little creatures, and they can be trained to perform a variety of tricks.
But an emotional support squirrel, really? Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the little guy can perform squirrel-CPR with his tiny squirrel paws or dial 9-1-1, I don’t know. But the airline certainly didn’t think that the animal qualified as an emotional support pal.
The unnamed passenger had marked in her reservation for the flight that she would be bringing an emotional support animal onboard, but didn’t specify what kind. Once the airline learned that she was bringing a squirrel on board, they told her no dice.
The airline’s policy states that no rodents are allowed in the flight cabin, no matter how bushy-tailed and adorable they may be. How do you think the passenger reacted?
A.) They understood completely and worked with the airline to have her flight moved to a later time so she could make arrangements for someone to care for the squirrel in her absence.
B.) She threw a fit and insisted that she bring her emotional support squirrel on board, subsequently holding up the flight and delaying everyone else’s travel plans, while getting the police called on her squirrel-loving self to be escorted to the airport’s main terminal area.
If you guessed B then you’re 100 percent correct. After causing a ruckus on board and delaying the flight for two hours, the woman was carted off by the authorities in a wheelchair while raising a middle finger to passengers and telling them to “shut up” as scattered applause rang throughout the plane.
Now I want you to try and guess which lovely state this airplane was disembarking from. Out of all the ones in the grand U-S-of-A, which one do you think has the highest probability of a passenger throwing a fit for not being able to bring a squirrel on board?
Need a hint? It rhymes with Blorida. That’s not to say that Floridians are the only ones who try to bring animals who have no business being in a flight cabin into a flight cabin. There are plenty of other weird “emotional support animal” stories that have been making the internet collectively shrug their shoulders.
Who could forget the most excellent time when this woman attempted to bring a peacock onboard her plane, claiming that it was her emotional support animal. I admit, seeing their feathers spread out is awe-inspiring and beautiful.
And seeing that wonderful, feathered display may up your mood and improve your emotional well-being for the rest of the just by the virtue of being in its presence. And plus, airline travel is very, very strenuous.
But I want to know what planet your mind has currently taken up residence on that you think smuggling a peacock onto a plane is not only a good idea, but that you’ll be totally fine as long as you label the bird as an “emotional support animal”.
The attempt was so egregious that it got United Airlines to re-think it’s entire policy regarding “service” animals on board, forcing them to become stricter with its guidelines and the definitions for what constitutes “emotional support.”
Someone else tried bringing a turkey on board to help them cope with their emotions. If I had to guess, this picture was snapped around Thanksgiving time and the passenger wanted to ensure they were emotionally prepared to fulfill their promise of cooking the freshest bird their family’s ever had.
If you think someone bringing a turkey or peacock on board a plane is insane, then you haven’t heard about the horrifying events involving a student and her emotional support hamster that is just buckets of crazy.
A young student was incorrectly informed by the airline that her hamster did qualify as an emotional support animal, however, when she went to board she was told that she couldn’t bring her ball of fluff onto the plane.
So the airline said they could give her a later flight time so she could make some arrangements for the animal. And she had a lot of different options to choose from. She could’ve set it free outside — it is an animal after all — I’m sure it could find some grassy knoll somewhere to live out the rest of its hamster days.
Apparently she exhausted all the choices she could think of, because she ultimately decided that the best course of action would be to just flush her little pet down the toilet.
The best part is that she tried to blame it all on Spirit Airlines, and said they told her to flush her pet down the drain. As insane as this young woman — and her entire story — is, I just can’t help but wonder what was going on through that little hamster’s head as it spun to its watery grave. I’d like to think it held its breath and ended up in a sewer and joined a family of rats. Hold on, anyone got the number for Pixar? I just got an idea. (h/t CBS)