DL Makes Room For ‘Emotional Support Turkey’

The therapy animals-everywhere trend reached a new milestone recently after an unknown pax was successfully able to bring an emotional support turkey aboard a Delta Airlines flight.

Yes, turkey. Think Thanksgiving, but alive.


Two images of the bird were purportedly taken by flight crew and then uploaded to the website Reddit. One show the animal  being taken to the gate in a wheelchair and the other shows the big bird settling in to the aircraft’s Comfort+ section.


DL confirmed that it let the turkey aboard, saying it fell under the category of “emotional support animals” and “psychiatric service animals” they are required to carry by law.


Specifically, the U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that “carriers shall permit dogs and other service animals used by persons with a disability.”


As proof that an animal is or isn’t a service animal, carriers need to lean on “identification cards, other written documentation … tags, or the credible verbal assurances of the qualified individual.”


While service animals were once limited exclusively to specially trained dogs for assisting the visually impaired, the past few years have seen a dramatic spike in fliers obtaining notes in order to fly with emotional support dogs, cats, pigs, tortoises and even miniature horses. A number of online retailers now offer legitimate-looking service animal harnesses and documentation.


It’s not just in the air. Last year a Wisconsin woman was asked to leave a McDonald’s after she entered the restaurant with a dressed-up “therapy kangaroo.”

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