People do take the piss, don’t they?

So, we generally don’t allow animals, uncaged and untethered, onto planes. We do make an exception for service animals – Americanese for guide dogs for the blind etc. Rational, sensible, lots of grey areas but still.

Emotional support animals. Hmm, well, umm.

As Habibi is trained to be an emotional support animal and be with her during a flight, such separation was stressful for the two of them, Egeto says. She opted to buy a car to facilitate trips back and forth from Boston and Florida rather than fly.

“Not being able to have my [emotional support animal] available to me while I’m transitioning out of the pandemic was insurmountable,” said Egeto, calling the situation “stressful.” Egeto says she was “grateful” she had the resources to buy a car, but did not want to; “I hadn’t owned one in two years,” she noted.

Egeto is one of thousands facing a harsh new era in air travel, in which emotional support animals are separated from their owners. In 2016, U.S. airlines carried 540,000 passengers with emotional support animals, according to Airlines for America. That number more than doubled to over 1 million by 2018. In 2019, Airlines for America, the trade association for major U.S. airlines, wrote in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao that emotional support animals led to an increase in “incidents” that have “ranged from mauling and biting to urinating and defecating.”

Emotional support animals were classed, by DoT, as something like service animals. They will be carried. Now they won’t be.

Largely because people were taking the piss. There was at least one incident of someone insisting that a Shetland pony was an emotional support animal and must be – and was – allowed on a flight.

“The regulations are fundamentally unfair, prioritizing corporate interests over the rights of Americans with disabilities,” wrote Curt Decker, an executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, in a USA Today op-ed. “We believe that the provisions dealing with emotional support animals should be rescinded.”

Oh aye?

20 thoughts on “People do take the piss, don’t they?”

  1. OK… It’s Salon… But.. Where the hell do they dig up the Spesjul Snowflakes they feature in their articles?

    A social worker with Parental PTSD needing a pet to function in stressful environments?
    That’s something you’d expect in South Park or the Simpsons as an exaggeration or satire. Someone should point this one out to the script-writers. Those scenes almost write themselves..

  2. jgh…. Here in Clogland you can.. Whether it’s worth the bureaucratic hassle.. Another matter.

  3. I was denied the ability to take my ’emotional support large suitcase’ into the flight cabin. Horrific discrimination.

  4. The National Disability Rights Association should organise charters exclusively for those travelling with emotional support animals. With over a million passengers annually how can it fail? The cost might be high due to the level of post-flight cleaning but this will be easily offset by squeezing in more seats so that flyers can receive even better emotional support from the closer proximity to their blameless chums.

    The downside is that the Biden administration will almost certainly subsidise them.

  5. Lots of young Londoners seem to need bladed weapons for emotional support. Can they go on the plane with them?

  6. ’… my dog helped me stay grounded,” Egeto said.’

    Wait, what? In an airplane?

    And I think my favourite is still the emotional support peacock that one nutter insisted on taking onboard.

  7. I’ve occasionally wanted an emotional support tiger to deal with the irritating little brat in the seat behind me who keeps kicking my seat the entire flight.

  8. All joking aside, this is a perfect example of the infantilization of individuals in modern society. They are just like Linus in Peanuts, but rather than growing up and getting over whatever traumas they have experienced, they are indulged and coddled.

    I’d really like to see one of these snowflakes explain their need for an emotional support animal to a veteran or someone who has experienced real hardship or trauma.

  9. What if you took a small ape but paid for a seat for it?

    Does the new ban on self-indulgence extend to Business Class and First Class?

  10. I’m sure all here are disappointed by the news. Especially Steve. Lions are perfectly reasonable emotional support animals, aren’t they?

  11. People who require emotional support from animals shouldn’t be allowed uncaged and untethered on planes either… or free to roam abroad in society for that matter.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    I occasionally get a Tweet through my feed from a Vet with PTSD. He gets seriously panicked in crowds and has a dog that senses it and runs round him continuously to keep people away.

    It would be quite funny if it wasn’t so tragic. He spent his career as a medic and most of that time sorting bits of body out when there’d been bomb attacks, including those of children when there’d been suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghan.

  13. Emotional support … there was a time when two or three large whiskies and a packet of Bensons would get you all the way across the Atlantic.

  14. He gets seriously panicked in crowds and has a dog that senses it and runs round him continuously to keep people away.

    It’s the snowflakes that fuck it up for the genuine cases.

  15. Andy ex-taiwan: “I’d really like to see one of these snowflakes explain their need for an emotional support animal to a veteran or someone who has experienced real hardship or trauma.”

    Not sure whether showing traumatised vets who they actually went through all that shyte for would be healthy for the vets or the snowflakes.
    The snowflakes are so self-centered and fragile they won’t learn a thing anyway, and the vets would only get more depressed/frustrated.

  16. Guide dogs are regulated and trained, maybe bring in standards and licensing for emotional support animals and then complain about lack of fair treatment.
    I’ve met someone with an emotional support pig, thankfully of the miniature kind, when I pointed out it was a miniature they were surprised as they had no idea how large they grew to normally.

  17. Airlines are in business for fun and profit. [citation needed] If they get more passengers by allowing pets on planes, more passengers than they lose through pets doing their business, it’s a great idea. Free enterprise: innovative ways of adding value. To get the regulators involved is just plain bullshit. When my boa constrictor swallows your Maltese poodle could cause problems, though.

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