Wednesday , January 22 2020

Flights: Viral image of cat at airport security splits passenger opinions | Travel News | Travel

Air travel is a common part of life for many people, whether it’s to jet off on holiday or as part of business travel. Increasingly, though, it seems air travel is becoming a common occurrence for many animals too, with travellers frequently spotting members of the animal kingdom on flights and in airport terminals.

Passengers flying through a US airport were shocked when they spotted one animal in particular in the security line, however, there were plenty jumping to its owner’s defence, sharing that they also fly with the creature.

The image was taken by a passenger in line at security, who was either surprised or amused to see a furry face peering over the shoulder of the person in front of them.

They were so intrigued by the situation they snapped a picture, which was then shared with Instagram account @PassengerShaming.

In the picture, the back of a person’s head can be seen, dressed in a blue and white T-shirt.

The traveller’s head is looking down, possibly adding items to the plastic tray to pass through the security scanner, or removing items before going through the metal detector.

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Another chimed in, stating: “That cat does not like flying.”

Then, of course, there were those who were simply enraged at the idea of the pet being brought to the airport at all.

One raged: “People that can’t leave home without their pets need to stay home.”

Allergies also came into the conversation, with some passenger’s questioning their own welfare as well as the cats.

“I’m seriously allergic to cats. What would my flight crew do?” asked one person.

Someone else chimed in, saying: “I’ve been talking with my mom about this because she was recently next to a woman on a flight who brought her cat, asked if she could take it out of the crate, and did so anyway when my mom politely said “I’d rather you didn’t…

“Here’s the deal: I’m highly allergic! Idk [I don’t know] what I’d do if this were to happen to me!”

Surprisingly, counteracting the disdain for the cat’s presence, there was an outpouring from pet owners.

It seems cat lovers often find themselves taking off with their feline friend in tow.

Whether its the result of moving house or because their cat is registered as an “emotional support animal”, many frequent fliers have taken their furry friend along for the ride.

One traveller said: “I always travel with my cat on the cabin and I don’t like to put her under the x-ray, she is really scared about the crowd but in my arms, she calmed down, the problem is when someone wants to pet her when I have her in my arms…

“I would never let her travel away from me, it would break my heart knowing her scared alone…”

Another defended their decision, explaining they had moved to Italy with their cat. They continued: “I had to pay for her ticket just like anyone else has to pay for a ticket. My cat peacefully sat under the seat while children/babies were screaming and kicking seats all over the plane.”

For the most part in the UK cats are not permitted to fly in aircraft cabins.

It seems no UK operator allows pets to travel in the cabin, except for assistance dogs. However, some UK airlines carry pets in the hold for a fee. According to the website, you can travel with a cat, dog or ferret but it must hold a valid passport and is subject to a number of medical examinations – including going into quarantine for up to four months.

However, in the US, animals in plane cabins are a common occurrence due to a new law which allows passengers to fly with registered “emotional support animals”.

In August 2019, the American aircraft guidelines changed to allow passengers to bring animals on board so long as they are designated service animals.

In a statement, the US Department of Transport told CBS 62: “With respect to animal species, we indicated that we would focus our enforcement efforts on ensuring that the most commonly used service animals (dogs, cats, and miniature horses) are accepted for transport.”

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