Yes, another post about emotional support animals on planes. Here's part one and part two. And I'll also offer my standard disclaimer that this is about people who abuse the ESA system, not those who legitimately need a support animal. I'm asking myself, "Jordan, is this really the hill you want to die on?" And my answer is, "Yes, Jordan, I get so outrageously angry at this whole 'pretend to have a disability so you can con your way into the sweet sweet perks EVEN IF IT MAKES LIFE WORSE FOR PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY HAVE THAT DISABILITY' thing that I will rant about it until I'm blue in the keyboard." There are certain things I just can't let go. The continued love for the horrible torture-porn move A Christmas Story, for instance. (You do know that the kid from A Christmas Story grew up to be the scientist from Human Centipede, right?) And the abuse of the emotional support animal system is right up there as well.
So today, a member of the crack Windbag Miles research squad sent me the following email, and it's a good thing I read it on the toilet, because otherwise I would shit my pants with rage.
TherapyPet has the answer to the new ESA Delta Airline Changes!
Delta Airlines recently announced that they are fine tuning their guidelines for bringing your ESA’s in the main cabin of a plane. The adjustment to the guidelines now say that in addition to a letter from a licensed therapist (which TherapyPet can provide), the owner of the ESA must sign off liability on the behavior of his or her pet.
What does this mean for an ESA owner? Simply put, make sure your ESA is well behaved, does not cause harm to others or disturb other passengers. The question is, how can you be sure your pet is on their best behavior during your travels?
TherapyPet has the answer for you! Introducing the Airline Approved, ESA Safety Kit. The Safety Kit consists of everything you possibly need to make sure your pet is on its best behavior.
Included in the Safety Kit is: -1 Mouth Guard - Protector against biting and barking -1 Pet First Aid Kit -1 Leash to go with the mouth guard -1 Roll of travel pet waste cleanup bags.
Best of all, this Safety Kit is approved and recommended by the Airliners as an acceptable way to ensure that your animal will be pleasant to travel with. By mentioning to airlines that you have taken steps to ensure the comfort of other passengers while your ESA travels with you, they will be much more accommodating and welcoming.
For only $39.99, you can have peace of mind that your animal will be a welcomed guest at the airport. Please let us know if you have any questions about any ESA needs including letters, vests, accessories or laws...we are here to help!!
Click Here To Get Your Airline Approved ESA Safety Kit Now!
And look at the fucking webpage they have set up for this ridiculous sham:
Where should I even start? Do I even need to point out that it's highly likely that this kit wasn't recommended by US Airways? I'm surprised they didn't slap a PanAm logo on it for extra authenticity. Also, it's pretty rich to charge $40 for a leash, a muzzle, a $2 first aid kit, and a roll of poop bags. It's almost as if they know that the people who abuse the ESA system are as stupid as they are morally bankrupt.
To boil it down, they're basically saying that, now that you're responsible for the conduct of your dog when it flies on a plane, you may want to muzzle it. (I'm assuming this is specific to dogs, since there's no kit with a pig muzzle.) The logical conclusion, then, is that there are a bunch of people with aggressive dogs who didn't really care to put muzzles on them until the airline told them they could get in trouble if the dog bit another passenger. You know, in case you needed any more evidence that these people are the most selfish assholes to ever walk the earth.
Of course, these concerns are all underscored by the obvious fact that this kit doesn't even satisfy Delta's regulations. In fact, if I were Delta, I would send them a cease and desist letter for abusing the trademark and implying that Delta in any way recommends or endorses this bullshit. It's true that you do need a letter from a therapist (which TherapyPet can provide!!!!), but you also need some evidence that your dog isn't a vicious animal... evidence that goes beyond a simple US Airways-approved muzzle.
You still need to file the forms with Delta 48 hours in advance of traveling, you still need to have your vet fill out the vaccination affidavit, and you're still subject to the discretion of the airport staff regarding whether your service animal is fit to fly. Slapping on a muzzle (and a leash, because apparently people were flying with unleashed dogs???) and bringing a first aid kit is probably going to make the gate agent less likely to let your dog on the plane, not more.
At least there should be some decent schadenfreude when a person who wasted $40 on a bunch of garbage waltzes into the airport thinking they're covered because the CEO of Delta worked in close collaboration with TherapyPet.com to provide this airline-approved kit, only to be told that they never filed the appropriate documentation, and also the dog is humping the teenager manning the Cinnabon counter, so maybe don't bring it on the plane?
Anyway, it's going to get worse before it gets better. In my last post, I foresaw something similar to this -- that the people who still tried to take advantage of the now-stricter regulations would really be the worst of the worst. What I didn't think of was the cottage industry of ESA outfitters hitting back like this.
However, I feel like maybe I could provide a useful service here, rather than just 1000 words of angry ranting. So, I'm going to offer anyone who found themselves duped into buying this kit a FREE 1-for-1 exchange for the official Windbag Miles ESA Superstar MegaPack.
In the Superstar MegaPack, you get:
- A framed photo of my dog with Delta logos over her eyes to show you that Delta approves of the Superstar MegaPack
- A first aid kit with all the contents taken out, because seriously if your dog bites someone, it's not like the airline is just going to forgive you because you handed the victim a few antibacterial wipes
- This book on the history of US Airways, since you may want to bone up on any future ESA kit recommendations, in case those airlines don't exist either
- A poop bag with a piece of shit in it, since you're a piece of shit
A small shipping and handling fee of $74.99 applies, but once you send proof of payment along with tracking information on the return shipment of your TherapyPet ESA kit, I'll send out your Superstar MegaPack right away, I promise.