An "Emotional Support Peacock" Did Not Qualify to Fly Under This Airline's Policy (But Not for the Reasons You Might Think)

It's now on a road trip with its owner instead.

Among the country's most notable airport therapy animals are dogs, horses, and even a pig — but that's, you might say, a whole other animal, compared to creatures actually permitted on aircraft. In fact, those rules are getting tougher by the day: Delta Airlines recently became the first carrier to now require a doctor or mental health professional note verifying that the human needs to fly with their support animal.

But a traveler at Newark International Airport found out this week that there are limits to what kinds of therapeutic pets will be allowed on board an aircraft — no matter what the extenuating circumstances. Turns out United Airlines is not interested in welcoming peacocks on board — period. Ventiko, an artist and photographer who lives in New York City, was not allowed to bring her "emotional support peacock," Dexter, on a flight, and you can bet the whole flap (ahem) ruffled feathers (ahem), gathering significant buzz given the extra attention to the matter that Delta's policy brought in the news.

The air carrier didn't reject the bird, which had its own purchased seat, because of its aggressive reputation. Rather, the airline said it did so because of safety concerns and because company policy prohibits anything "protruding into the aisle." An airline spokesperson told ABC News that Ventiko was informed that Dexter wouldn't be allowed on the flight three times "before they arrived at the airport."

Ventiko and Dexter are now on a road trip instead.

Photo by The Jet Set TV/Facebook

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