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2021-03-22 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Flakes on a Plane

Flakes on a Plane

What will fragile flyers do, now that the Department of Transportation has banned emotional support animals? Avenue makes the (satirical) case for a compassionate exception

Dear Global Airlines,

I am a licensed psychologist writing on behalf of my patient, Willow Long Reed, who has been distressed by new rules banning emotional support animals from flights. The purpose of this letter is to secure a medical exception for her Germ Pit (German shepherd/pit bull designer mix) on the basis of her prominence as a style and travel influencer.

Although Ms. Reed isn’t wheelchair–bound, sight–impaired, or living with any of the physical disabilities assisted by a certified service animal, she has many existing conditions that make being accompanied by her dog therapeutically essential.

First, she suffers from several serious allergies — chiefly to flying commercial, but also to turning her cell phone off, single-serve vodka bottles, the sight of polyester crew uniforms, and being told “no.”

Additionally, Ms. Reed becomes emotionally triggered when exposed to boisterous children whose parents are not celebrities or socialites. This distress may not be immediately visible to untrained airline staff, owing to her medically imperative regime of Botox, Restylane, and Juvederm. Instead, it takes an expert clinician such as myself to diagnose the symptoms of each of her anxieties. These include throwing her iPad at the purser, sage burning in the bathroom, and demanding to speak to the captain (whom she will likely refer to as “the manager”) in a fake French accent.

Would it not serve your airline to allow one impeccably groomed, emotionally supportive Germ Pit on the frequent flights Ms. Reed takes to Miami, Aspen, London, Paris, and Cannes? The animal is typically well-behaved and never aggressive, unless Ms. Reed is provoked by sudden intrusions into her personal space, offered an off-brand snack mix, or confronted with what she perceives as authority.

In return, Ms. Reed is prepared to offer Global Airlines sponsored content placement in her TikTok and Instagram stories, as well as a YouTube unboxing video of products from your duty-free offerings, if she determines them suitably luxurious. That, of course, requires she be given special permission to keep her phone on at all times.

I hope you can accommodate my patient’s special needs at this challenging time. Without the usual runway shows, red-carpet events, comped dinners, and swag bags, she, like so many of us, can use all the emotional support she can get.

Dr. Sidney Head
New York, NY 10021
License #1234567

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