Animals American Airlines Will Allow You to Take on a Plane: Shocking

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The airline has updated its list of banned animals, but there are still some strange options.

With more and more people exploiting the loophole to allow “emotional support” animals on board the plane, American Airlines is having to outright ban more animal species. But, with only a short list of banned species, there’s still a world of possibilities for Support Parrots, Support Monkeys and Support Horses.

The Peacock Incident

Earlier this year, a woman with an emotional support peacock tried to board at Newark, New Jersey. While she had purchased a seat for both herself and the peacock, she was turned away by United Airlines, who refused the animal.

“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.

1986 Air Carrier Access Act

In the 1980s, a federal act was passed that allowed support animals into the cabin at no cost to the person flying. For people with seeing eye dogs, this was a nice accommodation, but the open language soon allowed people with more suspicious afflictions from exploiting the law.

According to a summary from the US Department of Transportation,

“Airlines may not charge for providing accommodation… concerning services and accommodations [for] service animals.”

American Airlines Announces Policy Change

In a statement from AA:

“We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal. Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft.”

Glad to see that the jobs are being given back to good boys, and not those snooty peacocks.

An emotional support animal is an easily-abused invention, because while a mental health professional is required to sign off on testimony stating that the passenger does need the animal, there are websites that can connect you to a doctor willing to certify you for a fee.

The fake emotional support animals aren’t trained to the same level as, say, a seeing eye dog, or a seizure detecting dog. And it’s the bad behavior that causing the trouble. One attendant with AA, Heather Poole, said that she can “spot a fake emotional support animal a mile away.” She published a memoir of her work called “Cruising Altitude” and she said that the fake ones are “usually growling or barking at other support animals. That, or it’s dressed nicer than the owner.”

But there’s a reason that dogs, and not peacocks and ducks are the best support animal. We as humans have relied on them for thousands of years, and they more than any other animal have adapted to live with us.

Banned Animals


If it’s not a support animal and just a regular run-of-the-mill pet, you’ll be charged $125 each way on an American Airlines flight.

Here’s the new, expanded list of banned animals. You’ll notice that there are still weird options that will be allowed, like songbirds.

  • Amphibians
  • Ferrets
  • Goats
  • Hedgehogs
  • Insects
  • Reptiles
  • Rodents
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Sugar gliders
  • Non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, & birds of prey)
  • Animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses properly trained as service animals)
  • Any animal that is unclean / has an odor

The new regulations will be in place starting July 1st.

Turkeys, Pigs And Ducks On Planes

In the last few years there have been numerous cases of funny animals on flights, partly thanks to social media users who spread the stories and photos.

In 2014, a “disruptive” pig was removed from a US Airways flight despite being tied to an arm rest. Both the porker and its human were asked to leave.

In 2016, there was this duck wearing special shoes:

And a monkey, because why not?

And then an emotional support turkey whose early January flight must have been in celebration of missing out on the major turkey-eating holiday season.

Move Follows United And Delta

In the last year, both United and Delta have cracked down on funky support animals, saying that the requests from passengers to travel with their buddies has gone up 75%, to around 76,000 requests in the last year.

[READ MORE: Coffee Shops Cites “Emotional Concerns” In Refusing To Serve Cop]

Sources: US Dept. of Transportation, American Airlines, NBC

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