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Popeyes’ ‘Emotional Support Chicken’ Takes Flight at Philadelphia Airport

If you can’t take your emotional support peacock with you on an airplane, what about emotional support fried chicken? Popeyes’ debuted its “Emotional Support Fried Chicken” this week at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday, capitalizing off some newsworthy attempts to take exotic animals on flights, most notably an emotional support peacock in January. The fried chicken is guaranteed to not make any noise on flights or ruffle the feathers of the Transportation Security Administration.

In January, a woman boarding a United Airlines flight at Newark Liberty International Airport was prohibited from taking on board her emotional support peacock. The owner was reportedly told three times that the bird was not allowed on the flight because of size and weight restrictions. The story went viral, and so did footage of the peacock, named Dexter, sitting in the airport baggage claim. Sadly, Dexter died of unknown causes seven months later, according to People.

According to the TSA, the rules on taking emotional support animals on flights are as follows: 

  • All pets should be brought to the security checkpoint in a handheld travel carrier. Remove the pet from the carrier just prior to the beginning of the screening process.
  • Do not put the pet into the X-ray tunnel, which is used to screen a passenger’s personal property and carry-on luggage. Place the empty travel carrier on the belt to be X-rayed.
  • The pet should be carried during the screening process; alternately, a pet can walk thru the process if the owner has the pet on a leash.
  • A TSA officer will give the pet owner’s hands an explosive trace detection swab to ensure there is no explosive residue on the hands.
  • Once the screening process is completed, owners should return the pet to the travel carrier at the re-composure area, away from the security checkpoint for the safety of the pet as well as other passengers.

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Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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