Passengers Shocked To Find Falcons Sat Next To Them During Flight

Passengers onboard a recent flight in the Middle East got a bit of a surprise when they discovered they were sitting next to a falcon. Two passengers caused a scene when they boarded with their hunting birds, buying them their own seats in the economy section.

What are the details?

Animals can be a fairly common occurrence on planes, such as seeing eye dogs helping disabled passengers as well as miniature ponies on Southwest. But just a few days ago, those flying in the Middle East really topped that off, when they brought a pair of falcons onboard.

The two passengers boarded with their aviation-themed animals, sitting them down next to fare paying economy passengers, much to their surprise. You can check out the video here:

Whilst the falcons are obviously not emotional support animals, they seemed to have done the opposite effect and actually caused other passengers to become uncomfortable.

It is not reported if the passengers were compensated or if they were told to relax.

The Middle East has a strong tradition of falcon hunting, and many airlines offer services to transport these animals. They are generally well behaved, and with their eyes covered they don’t really notice how their environment changes. But, understandably, some passengers might be uncomfortable with a bird sitting next to them.

But if you are considering transporting your own birds this way, watch out as there is a bit of red tape. Each bird will require its own bird-passport and each airline has a specific policy. For example, here is the policy from a few different airlines:

  • Emirates: Pets are not permitted in the cabin, with the exception of falcons between Dubai and certain destinations in Pakistan.
  • Qatar: You are permitted to carry one falcon on board the Economy Class passenger cabin of an aircraft, and a maximum of six falcons are permitted within the Economy Class cabin of an aircraft.
  • Etihad: 1 falcon per guest (per seat) is permitted. Charge for one falcon (which is considered 6.6 lb/ 3 kg) is 3 times the normal excess baggage rate of the journey, 1 additional falcon can be carried when an extra seat is purchased within same class.

As with all things in the Middle East, lasciviousness has taken over, with some renting out entire planes to transport hundreds of birds.

What do you think? Should falcons be able to fly with passengers?