Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they aren’t the only animal willing to lend a helping hand or paw to people in need. Some folks adopt service cats or pigs for emotional support, and there are even a few service kangaroos, skunks, and boa constrictors out there, apparently. But having a pet peacock doesn’t always pay off when it comes to plane travel.
According to airline blog Live and Let’s Fly, United Airlines refused to let a woman bring her massive service peacock onboard her Newark Airport flight recently—even though she’d gone ahead and bought the majestic, plumed beast its own seat on the plane.
“This animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size,” a United spokesperson told FOX News. “We explained this to the customers on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport.”
To be fair, peacocks aren’t exactly proportioned to fit nicely in an aisle seat, since some species can grow up to ten feet long, and the birds are known to be serious jerks sometimes. Plus, there’s a growing trend of people pretending to be disabled just to sneak their pets onto a plane—or claiming their animals are trained to help, only to have them lose their shit halfway through a flight—so it’s tough to say exactly how critical this peacock was to its unnamed owner’s health. Still, a few folks on Facebook were willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
“Wait a minute!” one commenter wrote on Jet Set TV’s photo post. “A peacock is denied but a pig can get on?? That is not right!”
Others weren’t so kind.
“Ridiculous to think she could fly with a bird this size,” another commenter said. “A very loud large bird.”
Well, there’s more to the story than originally thought—namely, the peacock’s name is Dexter, he belongs to a Bushwick-based artist named Ventiko, and he has his own Instagram.
At the end of the day, getting shut down by United might have been for the best, as far as the peacock’s safety is concerned—the airline doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to taking care of pets. Still, if this woman is dead set on flying with an emotional support animal, she might want to consider adopting some other critter. For what it’s worth, giant lobsters are cleared for takeoff.