Passengers are really beginning to test the limits of what is allowed in terms of pets aboard flights. Recently, a photographer from New York City attempted to board a United Airlines plane with her pet peacock, claiming it as her emotional support animal. The airline denied the bird passage on the flight.
The pet’s owner, Ventiko, is a performance artist who hails from the Big Apple. This raises the question of whether she was performing a stunt rather than earnestly attempting to use the peacock as an emotional support animal.
Many reports quickly revealed that the New Yorker apparently operates an Instagram account on behalf of the bird known as Dexter, casting even more doubt on the artist’s sincerity.
From the peacock’s Instagram account, one can quickly find their way to Ventiko’s website, making it even more likely that part of her motivation behind owning the animal and trying to fly with it is related to her artwork.
Fellow passengers and employees alike were clearly aghast at the sight of Dexter, his size, and his beautiful feathers during the extended period of time he spent at Newark Liberty International Airport just outside of New York City.
Dexter’s Instagram account noted that he and Ventiko spent approximately six hours at Newark attempting to board the flight. Despite having purchased a second ticket for the peacock, he was never ultimately permitted to board a flight on account of his size. According to the Instagram account, the pair then began a cross-country drive to their destination of Los Angeles.
In recent years, more and more travelers have applied for and received permission to have their pets fly with them for free on account of having them designated as emotional support animals. Unlike a animals that are obviously necessary to assist people with certain physical disabilities, emotional support animals often appear to be regular pets with which people want to fly without having to pay any fees.
This method of flying with animals seems to be getting abused quite a bit lately. A feature story in The New Yorker covered this topic at great length several years ago.
It is not immediately clear whether Dexter has made it by car to Los Angeles, or if Ventiko has benefitted from the associated fame related to the incident at Newark.