American Airlines Flew A Service Horse In The Aircraft Cabin

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!

American 777
It was a normal day on an American Airlines flight until a horse showed up. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

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.

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Here’s a great picture from @aastews of the flight crew from American Airlines! They were fantastic and kind and very excited to see Flirty on their flight! Even the pilots had to come out to say hi.

A post shared by Flirty The Mini Service Horse (@flirty.the.mini.service.horse) on

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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.

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.

AA Boeing 737
The American Airlines flight seemed to be uneventful, aside from the horse on board, who did not cause a nuisance. Photo: American Airlines

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.

American Airlines interior
Miniature horses are allowed as support animals per guidance from the Department of Transportation. Photo: American Airlines

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.

Although, horses are not the only kind of larger animals to find their way around airports and aircraft!

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! 

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Stephen787

Great that a disabled person can travel. But is this a particularly American thing – traveling with animals in the cabin? I haven’t heard of this in other countries. I read that someone tried to take a peacock onboard a few months ago. A few more questions below if anyone familiar with the regulations can answer for me. I’m not sure how long this flight lasted but assume it was only an hour or two. What about the animal waste mid flight if the flight lasts several hours? Would this have been approved if it was transcontinental, red eye, or… Read more »

John Ott

American people pay for bags you cant figure out when landind people that pay should be first to off plane. But you let horses on planes cei needs fired

Gretna

wonder if American provides feed bags and diapers !!

Sev Onyshkevych

I am flabbergasted. As far as I know, the only “service animals” that are allowed under the ADA since 2011 are dogs. “This publication provides guidance on the term “service animal” and the service animal provisions in the Department’s new regulations. Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA. A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Generally, title II and title III entities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in… Read more »

Sev Onyshkevych

I stand corrected. The only OTHER animal allowed is a “miniature horse” “In addition to the provisions about service dogs, the Department’s revised ADA regulations have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.) Entities covered by the ADA must modify their policies to permit miniature horses where reasonable. The regulations set out four assessment factors to assist entities in determining whether… Read more »

Jenn Garden

I think it said somewhere either on this website or another, that the woman had a min. horse as she was allergic to dogs. As far as someone said about allowing dogs on Mint on Jet Blue, it was allowed, next to me when I sat there, was quiet and didn’t bother me.