Emotional support peacock denied flight by United Airlines

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Finally an answer to the age-old question: Can peacocks fly?

United Airlines turned away an emotional-support animal — a proud peacock — at a New Jersey airport this weekend, as airlines have been considering with new guidelines for service and comfort animals.

United Airlines said in a statement to NBC News that the peacock “did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size.” The incident took place in the lobby of Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday.

“We explained this to the customer on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport,” the airline said in its statement to the peacock network.

The Jet Set, a travel and lifestyle show, first reported the incident. The site included images of the flamboyant bird on Facebook Sunday in a post saying the emotional-support peacock was denied boarding. It was unclear if the passenger and peacock made it to their destination.

United Airlines added in a statement on emotional support animals that the airline was “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,” the statement said. “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.”

The airline said that it was reviewing its existing policy and planned to share more soon.

Related: Delta sets new guidelines on service animals allowed on board

A video posted to The Jet Set’s Facebook page showed a woman wheeling luggage with the peacock perched on her shoulder at the airport.

“I’m not kidding this woman is wrangling her peacock into the airport — right now, wrangling a peacock in the airport,” a woman can be heard saying in the background of the video.

“That just happened, what the hell New York,” the woman adds (although Newark airport is technically in New Jersey).




Image: peacock

A peacock walks over a fairway during the first round of Hero Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club on March 17, 2016 in New Delhi.