Up, Up And A-Neigh
Coming soon to a cramped flying egg carton near you: Miniature horses.
And who knows how many dogs and cats. Thanks to new rules from Washington, airline passengers are now permitted to board commercial carriers with one emotional support animal and up to three service animals.
In other words, a herd.
Yep, dunderheads in the Department of Transportation, scared witless of lawsuits from disability activists, last week ruled that not only can’t dogs and cats be banned from flights as “service“ or “emotional support” animals, but miniature horses are now a protected flying species, too.
Hi-yo, Silver. Away!
Oh, and thanks to the rabid pit bull lobby, the government also decreed that airlines cannot discriminate on the breed of dog. This, despite the fact that a Delta passenger was recently mauled by a pit bull. Pit bulls are so aggressive they aren’t allowed in military housing. But the feds think it’s dandy to put them in confined spaces with civilians at 35,000 feet. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
And there’s more.
Washington knows that travelers are abusing the squishy rules regarding “emotional support animals” as a way to fly their pets for free. The only requirement for an ESA is a document from a clinician saying the passenger needs a comfort animal to travel. Still, the feds seem reluctant to curb this scam.
Check out the numbers: American airlines last year flew 751,000 emotional support animals. That’s up 80 percent from 2017. It’s clear what’s going on: Cheapskates who don’t want to pay to fly with their animals are gaming the system.
OK, some folks do have a crippling fear of flying. But that’s why God made Xanax. And cars.
Just because you have an anxiety problem doesn’t mean I should have to sit next to you and your slobbering emotional support St. Bernard.
Want to read a ripe slice of cowardly governmental gibberish? Peruse the entire 28-page guidelines regarding airborne animals. It’s clear the DOT is determined that commercial air travel should be as unpleasant as possible.
Shoot, airlines aren’t even allowed to limit the number of animals on flights, according to the document: Airlines may not impose categorical restrictions on the total number of service animals to be transported in the aircraft cabin.
Service animals are important. We get it. They’re well-trained and they give disabled folks independence. Miniature horses are said to be even better than canines as guide dogs. Plus, they live about 30 years, so folks don’t have to get new ones every seven years or so.
But while some miniature horses are under 100 pounds and about the same size as large dogs, others grow to 200 pounds. They simply don’t belong on planes. Naturally, the DOT says airlines also can’t discriminate on the size of service animals.
At some point, animal-free passengers have to exert their rights. We’re already crammed into too-small seats, offered almost no sustenance and suffer inexplicable delays and cancellations. Have you seen the price of tickets lately? Obscene. Meanwhile mutts in phony service dog vests are flying free.
It’s madness. All of it.
Tell you what, I’ll welcome horses on planes as long as we’re allowed to ride them to our destinations if our flights are cancelled.