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Monday, February 5, 2018

Therapy peacocks....oh puhleeze!

I saw something on the news last week that I thought was surely a publicity stunt - a "performance artist" who wanted to bring her peacock on the airplane.
Yes, you read that right - a peacock! It seems like there is a big increase in people trying to bring "comfort animals" on airplanes. The thing that is frustrating about this situation is that United Airlines told her 3 different times that she could NOT bring the peacock  - but she came to the airport with it anyway.
Oh puhleeze!
United Airlines since changed it's policy so owners have to 'confirm that the animal can behave in public and that it's up to date on it's shots.'
Here's a quote from a CBS News story:

"United has seen a 75 percent year-over-year increase in customers bringing emotional support animals onboard and has experienced a significant increase in onboard incidents involving these animals," the airline said in a statement. "We understand that other carriers have seen similar trends. The Department of Transportation's rules regarding emotional support animals are not working as they were intended, and we need to change our approach in order to ensure a safe and pleasant travel experience for all of our customers."

Speaking of a "pleasant travel experience, " how do those of us with allergies and asthma protect ourselves on a plane? We have rights too you know!

I REALLY don't want to sit next to someone's dog, cat, etc on a long flight. Especially if they are petting their comfort animal or service animal, which will release dog and cat hair (and dander into the air.) 

I would hate to be trapped next to an animal and have allergies set off an asthma attack.  I have had asthma attacks before from people's dogs and cats, but could at least leave their house or yard and get away from the animal. But, being stuck on a plane next to one? Yikes! 

The New York Times shares a horrible story about a family kicked off a plane because their son was allergic to dogs.

George Hobica, founder of says:

“I would say almost every plane has had a dog in the last month, and they’re not deep cleaned very often. You still have dander, and if you’re highly allergic you may react to it"

 From now on, I'll be taking allergy medicine BEFORE my flight - just in case. And I always have my inhaler with me on board the flight. 

If I am seated next to someone with a "comfort animal" or "service animal", I will ask to be re-seated, as far as possible from the animal!

I have no problem with people that need a comfort animal or service animal, I just can't sit next to one on a flight. 

I have a rights too - the right to be able to breath on a flight and not coughing so hard from an asthma attack that I throw up. That would make for a fun flight...




  1. I actually have a real service dog. It is properly trained and just sits at my feet. This makes it more difficult for people with real service dogs. If someone is allergic we won’t sit near each other

  2. I feel instances like these dismiss those with a genuine need for a service dog. I have mine for autism and diabetes. I 100% agree that people who try to pass of their pet as a “comfort animal” is problematic but many people have invisible disabilities need service dogs. asthma too is an invisible disability, I just don’t like the tone because real service dogs fade into the background and do not draw attention

    1. I agree! I don't have a problem with service dogs. Those with legitimate service dogs are getting a black eye from people who claim they need a "comfort animal", and can pay a small fee and print off a certificate online.

      I know that service animals are highly trained and there are instances of service animals being attacked by comfort animals.

      The New York Times has an article called "It's Time to End the Scam of Flying Pets." They talk about people who claim their pigs, monkeys, turtles and snakes are "comfort animals." That is getting a little ridiculous!

      You can read more about it here:

  3. I thought of that. I have less allergies than many who have asthma, but one serious one is feathers. I don't know how to reconcile someone's need for a "comfort" animal with my allergy. If they need that creature enough to make a big deal of it, I'll assume they have a serious problem. Obviously, I have a serious need to breathe. Fortunately for me, I almost never fly. That doesn't do anything for any other allergic person, though.

    1. Yes, it's a tough dilemma. Some people definitely need service dogs, and unfortunately, people are taking advantage of the whole comfort animals problem. (Some is legitimate, but others just want to bring their pet on board and skip the $125 fee to fly their pet.

      So, where does that leave us with allergies and asthma?

      Tough choices!