Heads up emotional support animals: Prepare for stricter travel policies.

When you imagine an emotional support animal, it’s likely that a dog or cat comes to mind. Certainly not – a peacock. The unusual “peacock incident” at Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this week certainly brought attention to support animals everywhere. This particular event gained national interest as a woman attempted to bring her emotional support peacock onto a United Airlines flight. Consequently, the airline refused to allow her to board, due to the animal’s size and weight. Following this, airlines everywhere took notice and many are reevaluating their current emotional support animal policies.

Traveling with an emotional support animal? Here’s what you need to know.

Prior to the peacock situation, Delta Airlines was already in the process of instigating new regulations for travelers with emotional support animals. The change in policy includes stipulations like increased paperwork and advanced notice given. These alterations begin on March 1, 2018.

Airlines travel

It seems as though United Airlines is following Delta’s example, and tightening up their own animal travel policies. After all, bringing a peacock onto a plane is no small feat. Travelers might do well to have a bit of clarity and requisites before bringing the rest of the zoo aboard. United’s spokesman Ross Feinstein told USA Today, “Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our passengers, and working dogs onboard our aircraft.”

United Airline’s updated regulations will likely exclude animals deemed as too large and heavy to fit comfortably in a flight. If your emotional support animal might impinge on routine cabin service, that may also be a no go.

Check back with these individual airlines for an extensive description of the new policies. Despite a few extra hoops, travelers can hopefully continue to travel comfortably with their personal companions.

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Faith is a writer and social media manager residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is passionate about people and currently attends university in pursuit of a degree in Clinical Psychology and Counseling. A nomad by nature, Faith finds utmost joy in trekking around the globe and strongly advocates backpacking as the best way to explore anywhere. Being a bookworm and an avid coffee drinker, she is likely to be found sipping an Americano and mulling over a classic novel.


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