If you follow pet travel news you may have come across a few provocative headlines lately (Will you really have to sit next to a pig on a plane?) regarding “emotional support” animals and airline travel.
What's the story? The US Department of Transportation has proposed a few new guidelines aimed at helping disabled people have a better travel experience, and the rules would allow service animals such as potbellied pigs and miniature horses to ride alongside the passengers they are assisting.
Certain restrictions are attached to these scenarios of course—overly large or disruptive animals won't be allowed to board, and the animals must have “relief areas” available them. Transportation officers will also run through a checklist to determine if the animal truly qualifies as an emotional or psychological support.
Ultimately, in each situation the airline still has final say over whether or not the support animals can fly so it's unlikely that planes are going to start resembling farmyards anytime soon, but don't be too surprised if you see a more diverse array of critters making their way through airport security in the future.