Yet again, airlines and emotional support animals are in the headlines. A woman recently learned the hard way that not all animals will be allowed to fly, despite their “status” as an emotional support animal. Many airlines are having to put their foot down on what types of animals are allowed to fly on planes.
Emotional support animals are animals that provide their owner with some form of emotional support. These animals have received a note from a doctor that states they help improve a person’s life. They often receive no form of training, and the note can be acquired either by visiting a doctor, or by paying for one online. This allows just about any animal to become an emotional support animal.
Recently, a woman attempting to fly from Orlando, Florida to Cleveland, Ohio on a Frontier Airlines flight tried to bring her emotional support squirrel with her. She did report to the airline that she would be bringing an emotional support animal, but failed to mention that said animal was a squirrel.
Frontier has a rule against rodents being on flights, and squirrels are considered rodents. When the airline realized the woman brought a squirrel on board, they asked her to get off the plane. When she refused, the entire plane had to deplane and wait for police to come escort her off of the plane.
This is just another in a long line of incidents that has caused many airlines to reevaluate their animal policies on flights. Back in January of this year, United Airlines ran into a similar situation when someone tried to board a flight with their emotional support peacock.