Pigs Really Do Fly – In the US at Least!

Back in 2012, I wrote a blog post titled “Pigs Might Fly – And Sooner than we Think!” relating to an article that had been published in a UK newspaper regarding the Air Carrier Access Act in the United States.

The act, filed by the US Department of Transport, was designed to provide equality for disabled people travelling on commercial passenger planes, by allowing passengers to be legally accompanied by a ‘comfort animal’ in the cabin at no extra cost during flights.

At the time, the list of suggested comfort animals included dogs, cats, monkeys, pot-bellied pigs, and miniature horses, and so I have to admit, I took the story with a pinch of salt and didn’t expect to hear much more about it. Yet here I am, 3 years later, reading stories about pigs and turkeys (yes, as in Christmas dinner) on planes, and I’m starting to think the world has gone slightly mad!


Image courtesy of The Easter Turkey Files Facebook Page: facebook.com/TheEasterTurkey/?fref=ts

The first story I read earlier this week was about Jodie Smalley, from Seattle, Washington State, who had just flown to visit relatives is Salt Lake City, Utah, with her ‘Emotional Support Turkey’ called Easter.

Mrs. Smalley, who sadly lost her husband in recent years, found her pet turkey shivering on the side of the road on Easter Day, and decided to adopt the then-chick, which she found comforting and a “source of love and laughter”.

Concerned that she may be overcome with grief while celebrating Christmas with her family and loved ones, Mrs. Smalley decided to take Easter with her on her Delta Airlines Flight for emotional support, and her story has made its way across the world…

Today, another story popped up in the Daily Mail, this time about Hamlet the spotted pig, who has just enjoyed an American Airlines flight from Boston to the Virgin Islands (via Puerto Rico) with his owner Megan Peabody, who explained that Hamlet ‘provided a lovely distraction’ and the emotional support she needs to get through a flight.

This is not the first flight for Hamlet the pig, in fact, he is now referred to as the ‘high-flying hog’, with more air-miles than any other pig in the Virgin Islands!

Interesting stories…but should pigs and turkeys really be allowed on planes?  Well, I’m all for it, and if it makes someone feel better, then why not! The only problem is, where do we draw the line…?


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