A woman tried to bring an emotional-support peacock on a United flight, and it reveals a growing crisis for airlines

  • United Airlines denied a woman’s attempt to bring a peacock onto a flight.
  • According to a travel blog, the woman said the peacock was an emotional-support animal, allowed to fly free.
  • While the woman offered to pay for the peacock’s ticket, the blog said, United would not let the animal onto the flight.

United Airlines denied a woman’s efforts to bring a peacock onto a flight departing from Newark Liberty International Airport, according to the travel blog Live and Let’s Fly.

The Jet Set, a travel talk show, posted photos of the peacock to Facebook.

According to Live and Let’s Fly, the woman said the peacock was an emotional-support animal, allowed to fly for free. While the woman also offered to pay for the peacock’s ticket, the blog said, United would not let the animal onto the flight.

United said in a statement to Business Insider: “This animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size. We explained this to the customer on three separate occasions before she arrived at the airport.”

The airline also said it requires passengers to “provide documentation from a medical professional and at least 48 hours’ advance notice” before bringing an emotional-support animal onto a flight.

Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines’ announced it would impose tighter regulations for passengers travelling with qualifying service or emotional-support animals. The airline said it had seen an 84% increase since 2016 in incidents involving improperly trained animals, including urination, defecation, and attacks on passengers and crew members.

The regulations will require passengers to show Delta documentation of an animal’s health 48 hours before a flight. Passengers travelling with an emotional-support animal will also need to present a signed letter from a doctor or mental-health professional, as well as a signed document saying the animal can behave properly during a flight.

Delta has faced backlash over the regulations, but other airlines are likely to follow suit as they try to prevent passengers from using support-animal provisions to travel with their untrained pets for free.

Some Twitter users expressed support for the United passenger’s attempt to bring the peacock onto her flight. Others were outraged.

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