Emotional Support Peacock Barred From Flying on United Airlines

Smithsonian | 2/1/2018 | Follow @brigitkatz

@kumathedestructor took this great shot of me at #newarkairport today. Spent 6 hours trying to get on my flight to LA 😤🐣 (after following all required protocol) Tomorrow my human friends are going to drive me cross country! Keep an 👁out for us! 🌈 #bestroadtripbuddy #dexterthepeacock

A post shared by Dexter The Peacock (@dexterthepeacock) on

Over the weekend, a United Airlines passenger named Dexter was getting ready to board a flight from Newark to Los Angeles. He had his ticket ready. He was, incidentally, looking pretty great. But Dexter was not allowed to board the plane. Dexter, you see, is a peacock.

According to Daniella Silva of NBC News, the peacock, which is reportedly an emotional support animal, and his human were turned away from their flight at the Newark Liberty International Airport on Sunday. United Airlines told Silva in a statement that the bird “did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size.”

Jet - Set - Travel - Blog - Incident

The Jet Set, a travel blog, was first to report the incident, posting photos from the scene on its Facebook page. In the pictures, Dexter can be seen perching on a luggage cart. A video, also posted by The Jet Set, shows a woman ushering the peacock through the doors of the airport and onto her shoulder.

Morgan Sung of Mashable later reported that the jet-setting bird was none other than Dexter, who is something of a local celebrity in his New York neighborhood of Bushwick. According to his Instagram page, Dexter lives with the artist Ventiko, and can occasionally be spotted strolling the streets of New York. They have been profiled in the New York magazine vertical Bedford+Bowery, which revealed that Ventiko bought Dexter and his mate Etta for an art installation in Miami. She left the pair with a friend in Florida, but Etta disappeared soon afterwards.

Dexter - Loss - Homey - Happiness - Kasper

“Dexter didn’t take that sudden loss of his homey happiness all too well and turned prickly,” Kasper Van Laarhoven of Bedford+Bowery writes. “The bird and his new owner grew apart and when Ventiko heard that Dexter was spending his days locked up in a garage, she flew down to save...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Smithsonian
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