Last year about this time, there was quite a stir about airlines tightening up their rules about the definition of emotional support animals.
Delta Air Lines got the ball rolling by issuing a new policy banning service and support animals under four months of age regardless of flight length. The new policy also banned emotional support animals of any age on flights longer than eight hours.
Other airlines followed Delta’s lead.
Then, right as the Christmas travel rush kicks, Popeye’s at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) shares news of a meal on its menu being served in a chicken-shaped box.
The box was labeled as an “emotional support chicken.”
The cocky campaign was a nod to news stories about the wide variety of animals, including peacocks, pigs, monkeys and spiders that try to take onboard for free.
“We appreciate how comforting emotional support animals are and wanted to create our own version,” said Hope Diaz, CMO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, “The good news is that our emotional support chicken is permitted to fly without any restrictions – one less worry for busy travelers!”
Should they bring that emotional support chicken (in a box) back?
The move came in response to increase incidents of aggressive pets and, in some cases, of pets biting and attacking passengers and employees in airports.
Now Tampa International Airport (TPA), which last May was in the news when a dog traveling as an emotional support animal gave birth to puppies in the terminal, has joined the herd in stepping up its enforcement of restricting non-service animals at the airport.
The aim of TPA’s new policy is reducing injuries to pets and people as well as enhancing cleanliness and sanitation at the airport.
Starting this week, TPA will begin educating pet owners about the airport policy which, it notes, has been in place for decades but loosely enforced.
The policy states that traveling non-service animals (i.e. pets) must be properly confined in a pet carrier or controlled on a leash when they are in the airport.
In addition, pets that are not traveling, such as those greeting arriving passengers in the Main Terminal, are not allowed at TPA.
At the end of March, pet owners who are not following the rules will receive warnings and there could be citations for non-compliant guests.
LIke other airport, TPA is experiencing record passenger growth and a record numbers of animals in the terminals. And TPA paramedics, police and maintenance staff are responding to an increased number of injuries to people and pets and cleaning up hundreds of pet ‘accidents.’
TPA’s policy enforcement was endorsed by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, which says the policy is a necessary measure to reduce animal incidents such as paw injuries on escalators.
What do you think of this trend? Do you bring your pet to the airport? Have you seen witnessed pets misbehaving at airports?
Football fan or not, it’s hard not to love the Puppy Bowl pre-game event that is now a Super Bowl-day tradition.
The event is so cute – and so good for promoting the adoption of puppies and dogs (and cats), that Denver International Airport holds is own Puppy Bowl.
DEN’s fourth annual Puppy Bowl will take place in the main terminal from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Feb. 1.
The “players” will include eight adoptable puppies and two adoptable adult dogs from the Denver’s animal shelter/humane society, called the Dumb Friends League.
Pets featured at the DEN Puppy Bowl will be available for adoption the following day or following week at the Petco Adoption Center in Denver on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you’re not able to attend the event in-person, be assured the airport will be sharing snaps of the puppies in action on social media (#DENPuppyBowl) and showing all the DEN Puppy Bowl “game footage” on the DEN Facebook page after the event.