Flying can be an excellent way to see new things. New sights from up high, an excellent opportunity for people watching, and a journey to see great monuments or galleries. However, for passengers flying from Chicago to Omaha, a more rare sight was seen. A passenger flew with a miniature horse!
The flying horse
Before your imagination runs wild, it is important to realize that the horse is not a full-size horse. Instead, a woman brought along a miniature horse for her American Airlines flight. Live and Let’s Fly reports that the horse serves as a means to guide the woman in lieu of a more traditional dog due to allergies.
The horse, Flirty, has her own Instagram account. It seems that the flight was uneventful for her. She took a nap and overall did not seem to cause much ruckus.
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Here’s a video of Flirty taking a nap on the first flight! She was so relaxed, once we got up in the air, and stood very quietly. You can see that she’s dozing, here. I fed her a lot of treats while we were ascending and descending to keep her swallowing and allow her ears to adjust to the pressure. She did show some discomfort by shaking her head once or twice, but the treats mostly did the trick to keep her comfortable.
View From The Wing reports that the passenger and the horse had the whole row to themselves. And, despite what can be a cramped ride in coach, the horse seemed to fit just fine. Aside from a little pushing against seatbacks, it does not appear that the horse caused discomfort. After all, this was one of the more well-behaved of support or service animals on a plane.
Should horses be allowed onboard?
This can be a bit controversial; there are people on both sides of the debate when it comes to having animals in the cabin. The case of a miniature horse, however, is a bit different. The Department of Transporation allows miniature horses on board as a service animal alongside dogs and cats, after a ruling earlier this month as reported in the New York Times.
In case of emergency, however, there could be a few issues. For example, although they are rare events, cabin depressurization or emergency water landings can create difficult environments for animals.
On the other hand, flying can be a bit stressful or nervewracking for some. And, those who require some mobility assistance may also welcome the comfort of a known and trusted animal onboard with them. In defense of this passenger, it does not seem that having a miniature horse onboard caused much of an issue.
So, at the end of the day, is it really an issue to have a miniature horse onboard an A320? We look forward to the debate in the comments section!