I’m sure more than a few feathers remain ruffled over United Airlines decision earlier this week to deny boarding to a Peacock named Dexter, traveling as an emotional support animal.
The performance artist Ventiko showed up at the Newark airport with Dexter, planning to fly across the country.
Federal law makes it clear, airlines must allow trained service animals or emotional-support animals on board even if the animal might offend other passengers.
Ventiko and Dexter were likely banking on that believing if they could buy Dexter his own ticket for his own seat, everything would be fine.
They knew to expect a problem. Three times, before they arrived, United had told them no. Dexter was going nowhere at least in the passenger section.
But the pair showed up anyway, Ventiko pushing a baggage cart, a resplendent Dexter perched high in her shoulder.
There is a place for emotional support animals, the law realizes that, so do I, but like everything else in life, there are limits and there are people who will push things to the extreme.
Fortunately, in this case, the law provides some leeway to airlines on the subject, and so Dexter and Ventiko never made it on to the flight.
More animals are showing up to fly, and with them have come more incidents of biting, aggression, urination…other things.
Pity the poor flight attendant who has to clean up after the incidents.
The good news is…it’s already starting to generate tougher guidelines for emotional support animals.
The bad news is you know somebody is already out there, trying to come up with a way to get around the new rules.
As for Dexter and Ventiko, it took a while but they made it to the west coast. They drove.