Responding to a request from TAPintoTravels, United Airlines’ Spokesperson provided this statement regarding the now viral sensation surrounding “Dexter the Peacock”.  For our original story, please go to TAPintoTravels.

For context, the conversation occurred in the lobby. Please see below for our statement on the peacock and our statement on emotional support animals.

Statement on the peacockThis animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size. We explained this to the customer on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport.

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Statement on emotional support animals:United is dedicated to providing convenient and comfortable service to all of our customers. We know that some customers require an emotional support animal to assist them through their journey. In order to ensure we provide the best service to everyone onboard our flights, consistent with government rules we currently require these customers to provide documentation from a medical professional and at least 48 hours advance notice. In our effort to better balance protecting our employees and customers while accommodating passengers with disabilities, we are reviewing our existing policy and plan to share more soon.

Also, here are the DOT regulations for reference:

What about unusual service animals?

· As indicated above, certain unusual service animals, pose unavoidable safety and/or public health concerns and airlines are not required to transport them. Snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders certainly fall within this category of animals. The release of such an animal in the aircraft cabin could result in a direct threat to the health or safety of passengers and crewmembers. For these reasons, airlines are not required to transport these 13 types of service animals in the cabin, and carriage in the cargo hold will be in accordance with company policies on the carriage of animals generally.

· Other unusual animals such as miniature horses, pigs and monkeys should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Factors to consider are the animal’s size, weight, state and foreign country restrictions, and whether or not the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or cause a fundamental alteration (significant disruption) in the cabin service. If none of these factors apply, the animal may accompany the passenger in the cabin. In most other situations, the animal should be carried in the cargo hold in accordance with company policy

Thank you!

Andrea HillerSpokesperson

United Airlines