Chicago, IL – On Monday, domestic airline carriers announced they are tightening rules for flying with Emotional Support Manimals (ESM), requiring passengers to show authorized proof of need and some form of guarantee the manimal will not be a threat to other passengers.
“We’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of Emotional Support Manimals brought aboard flights by passengers,” said United Airlines spokesperson Eli Kensington. “Many of these have resulted in confrontations, including meager attempts at growling, and awkward drunken-licking attacks.”
Kensington also noted a shift in the types of ESMs used by travelers.
“Most commonly we’ve seen manimals in cat form, however recently we’ve seen cows, sexy frog, minotaur, and something that looked like a cross between Elmo and a manatee… maybe it was just a fat Elmo. Anyway, last week on a flight from Houston, one passenger brought on an ESM wearing nothing but a dog collar.”
Airlines are also concerned with a recent spate of biting attacks. Delta Airlines is now requiring all ESMs to be caged or confined during flight, a move that is expected to draw ire from some travelers.
ESM owner Karen Evans defended manimals and noted that it’s humans that provoke these kinds of attacks.
“People need to remember you can’t pet manimals,” explained Evans. “It makes them very mangry.”
One passenger was detained after being mistaken for a manimal.
“I told them I wasn’t a manimal,” said the anonymous American Airlines customer. “It was freakin Halloween for crying out loud.”
For now, airline officials will continue to update their policies as needed.