Um, no, federal regulators have decided: The nation’s skies no longer will be a sort of bad airborne set for a pop psychology version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Instead, owners of so-called emotional support animals must keep their menagerie off commercial flights.
The federal Transportation Department has issued new rules halting what had become, in pre-coronavirus times, a flashpoint between airlines, their crews, and a preponderance of passengers. They were in growing conflicts with owners of critters they claimed they could not be without.
Airlines complained that they were barraged by not just a few, legitimate requests to board bona fide, trained service dogs (as shown in AKC photo, above) but also by hundreds of thousands of demands for what effectively were pets to be flown in the human spaces for free. The companies successfully turned away reptiles, ferrets, rodents, spiders — and even in one case a performance artist’s sizable peacock.