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