Squirrels on a planeBy Emily Logan
What are the strangest emotional support animals that have taken to the skies?
Air travel can be a nightmare: spending hours in security, overpriced food and inconsiderate passengers taking up all the leg room. But have you ever had to share an armrest with a squirrel?
Emotional support animals are allowed by many airlines. Usually a dog, these animals can accompany passengers with mental health problems (such as PTSD, severe anxiety and an extreme fear of flying) in order to keep them calm. However, on a recent Frontier Airlines flight between Orlando and Cleveland, an emotional support squirrel did the opposite, causing a two-hour delay.
The passenger (who has remained anonymous so far) had informed the airline that she would be bringing an animal on her flight but had not disclosed that it was, in fact, a squirrel. Typically, rodents are not allowed by the airline and, despite the squirrel being contained in an animal carrier, staff requested that it be removed from the flight. This did not go down well with the owner and ultimately police were called in to remove her from the flight.
This is not the first time that a passenger has made a strange choice of emotional support animal. Some of these animal passengers are truly bizarre.
Delta Air Lines — Turkey
In 2016, a turkey accompanied a passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight. Treated like a VIP, the turkey was photographed sitting in an aeroplane seat and being transported around the airport in a wheelchair.
Hobey the pig
In 2014, Hobey the pig and his owner Rachel Boerner were asked to leave the plane when passengers became unhappy that they were sharing the cabin with a pig. This is hardly surprising as Hobey wasn't an adorable little micro pig; he was huge at 80 pounds!
Daniel the duck
Daniel the duck proved much more popular than Hobey when he accompanied owner Carla Fitzgerald on her flight. Carla, who suffered from PTSD following a car accident, had owned Daniel since 2012. The adorable Indian-runner duck boarded the flight wearing a Captain America diaper and little red shoes to protect his feet.
Dexter the peacock
New-York based artist, Ventiko, made headlines when she attempted to bring a peacock onboard her flight. The airline had already informed her that the bird would not be allowed to fly, however she brought him along anyway and went on to spent 6 hours trying to persuade staff to let him travel.
While there isn’t much about him online, photos have circulated of an adorable young kangaroo wrapped up in a blanket on an American airlines flight. Another photo of a Kangaroo was shared online cuddling up to his owner in a plane seat as a flight attendant looks thrilled with her unusual passenger.
Thembi the hedgehog
Possibly the cutest on this list, Thembi the hedgehog took to the skies onboard a 2010 Delta flight. Since then Delta has banned hedgehogs in the cabin so it looks like Thembi’s flying days are over for now.
Would you be happy to share the cabin with a squirrel? Let us know on social media.