Some people have a difficult time with flying, and who can blame them? Airplanes are pretty scary contraptions when you stop to think about it, and anyone who doesn’t enjoy being in one for an extended amount of time can be sympathised with.
But, some people who suffer from anxiety have a trick up their sleeves to deal with the trauma; an emotional support animal. Emotional support animals are an accepted method for dealing with anxiety, so much so that many counsellors highly recommend them. So, when taking a flight the person will often request to take their animal with them. It is, however, a bit of a challenge when an emotional support animal happens to be something like a peacock.
We’ve rounded up some of the strangest emotional support animals people have attempted to take with them on flights, and they may leave you wondering what was wrong with opting for a dog – the animal traditionally used for support!
Pigs are often underestimated. They are intelligent, friendly, and very aware of human emotions. This is why one person attempted to take their emotional support pig with them on a flight in 2014.
Apparently, the pig began to get disruptive, and the owner was asked to leave the flight with the pet in tow. In this case, sadly, it seems like the anxiety sufferer didn’t manage to get airborne, but don’t worry, there are many emotional support animals that have had no problem earning their stripes in the sky.
Turkeys aren’t exactly what one would call favoured pets and you are more likely to see one bound up on the Thanksgiving table than out and about in a casino, or in economy class on a Delta Airlines flight. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be emotional support animals. In January 2016, a turkey was seen being wheeled through an airport on a wheelchair. Many didn’t know what to make of it, but it turns out the animal was for the emotional support of a passenger, and Delta was ribbed mercilessly by those who thought the airline had gone clucking crazy.
Ducks have wings, and apparently this makes them much more comfortable in the air. A duck with the name of Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt has been on many flights with his owner, a sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And yes, Daniel the Duck has officially been cleared to travel on airplanes.
And if that wasn’t enough, Daniel even has his own special clothes for travelling, including little red shoes.
When it comes to monkey’s it doesn’t get much cuter than marmosets. Small, fluffy, and very keenly intelligent, they make perfect emotional support animals. Jason Ellis travels with his marmoset, Gizmo, regularly, although he has run into a few problems along the way. It takes a lot of special paperwork to fly with an emotional support animal, and on one occasion when Ellis wasn’t able to produce his, he found himself grounded in Ohio. Clearly airlines are serious about not monkeying around!
And the best for last, one woman in Florida flies with her Appaloosa horse. That’s a miniature horse, for those not aware. Yes, the horse can fit into an airplane, and apparently is very calm when flying. Most amazing of all is that the horse, named Confetti, doubles as a Seeing Eye guide. The horse’s owner, a senior citizen named Cheryl, got Confetti after her guide dog passed away. The horse was gifted to her, and has stayed with her ever since, even if it means going on a plane trip or two.
There’s no telling what other passengers think when seeing a miniature horse get on the plane with them, but given how long and boring plane flights can be, most are probably happy for the distraction. Although, one can’t help but wonder what happens when a horse needs the bathroom in the middle of a flight. After all, is it possible to toilet train a miniature horse? And for that matter, does the horse have to choose between chicken and fish when it’s dinnertime?