United changes documentation for emotional support animals after “service peacock” shows up at Newark airport

HOUSTON— Traveling with an emotional support animal on United is about to get a little more complicated. Starting March 1st, the airline will begin requiring additional documents for service animals on-board.

Charlie Hobart, a spokesperson for the company said flyers currently have to provide a note from a medical professional about their need for an ESA, as well as 48-hours notice.

"Customers who require an emotional support animal, will need to confirm that the animal has been trained to properly behave in public and acknowledge their responsibility for the animal's conduct," Hobart said.

"Now customers will also need to provide a health and vaccination form signed by a
veterinarian, along with the vet's assurance that there's no reason to think the
animal will threaten the health and safety of others on board," Hobart said.

Regardless of documentation, some animals are simply barred from flying.

And peacocks, need not apply.

Last Saturday, "Dexter, the emotional-support peacock" was denied on-board a United flight from Newark airport.

"The animal was too big for starters. And we had actually let the customer know three times to her arriving at the airport that we would not be accepting the peacock," Hobart said.

United said the timing of its changes are apparently coincidental and has nothing to do with the peacock's attempt to head west on a purchased seat!

Whether you believe that or not, you better believe United's serious about cracking down on these undocumented animals!