An American woman travels in the cabin of an airplane with her miniature horse
An American woman managed to travel in the cabin with her miniature horse during an American Airlines flight from Chicago to Omaha (Nebraska, center) lasting an hour and a half at the end of August.
Flirty, who is about the size of a large dog, was traveling with his mistress, who needs the presence of this emotional support animal on a daily basis to help manage anxiety attacks, said the passenger in a email to AFP on Monday. Flirty, 7, reminds her to take her medication, she says.
“Flirty is my support animal. I need to be with me at all times for medical alerts and to assist me in my travels, “said Abrea Hensley.
The horse did not have an assigned seat: “I was traveling with a journalist, who kindly agreed to share his space. We were sitting in a row behind a partition (no seat in front) and so Flirty was sitting in the space in front of our legs, “says Hensley.
“If I had to travel alone, I would have to buy a ticket for an extra seat to make sure there is enough room for it,” she told AFP.
Hensley says it was the first time she flew with Flirty and she does not plan to repeat the experience.
“I prefer to drive with her,” she said.
The US Department of Transportation (DoT) authorizes, since early August, the cabin trip of emotional support animals, well trained and of a certain size.
Flirty “was a miniature horse of trained emotional support,” a spokesman for American Airlines told AFP, insisting that the company allowed itself to accept animals in the cabin on a case-by-case basis.
“We recognize the important role dogs, cats and miniature horses of emotional support can play in the lives of people with disabilities, but not just blind, deaf or physically challenged. They are welcome in the cabin at no cost if they meet the criteria, “said the spokesman.
According to Abrea Hensley, emotional support animals travel in the cabin for free because they are considered “medical equipment”.
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