Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process."
December 21, 2006 12:29 PM   Subscribe

The TSA would like to help you travel with your service animal. As with any set of guidelines, sometimes people try to game the system.
posted by scrump (17 comments total)

 
This is also an issue on college campuses; the Chronicle of Higher Ed had a good article about it not long ago. (Hope that's not a page that requires membership or log-in!)
posted by Kat Allison at 12:37 PM on December 21, 2006


"TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process."
Um.
posted by obloquy at 12:39 PM on December 21, 2006


Best comment: "I want in flight bacon!". Given the stupidly tiny bag of peanuts that is the airline dinner these days, I'd have to concur. Service Animal duck confit would hold me over nicely on a cross country flight.
posted by spicynuts at 12:42 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


"TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process."

No doubt Dieter would find their conversation tiresome.

Meanwhile, the TSA is X-Raying babies.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:48 PM on December 21, 2006


Unsure of just what the law requires and fearful of being sued, airlines, presented with a letter from a medical professional attesting to an animal's function...

I get insane requests like this all the time. The TSA could just decide that every little old lady who likes to have her kitty with her all the time isn't going to get any special treatment, but instead they pawn it off on the doctor.

Help me out here. A crazy person shows up in my office and tells me they need a letter so they can carry their pet iguana on the plane, otherwise they'll just lose it emotionally. I can tell them, "No, you are a crazy person and iguanas don't belong on airplanes" but really, what's my motivation? If I deny them a letter, I risk a crazy person throwing a fit in my office or changing doctors. Or I can just sigh, give up my last shred of professional dignity, and give them the letter. And now, there will be a separate security line for crazy people with iguanas.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:57 PM on December 21, 2006


"Yes sir, I must travel with a vast assortment of venomous snakes. It's for my anxiety, you see."
posted by Saydur at 1:17 PM on December 21, 2006


I dunno, man. A buddy of mine used to keep iguanas. If you find those creepy fuckers relaxing, I think there's just no helping you.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:18 PM on December 21, 2006


Meanwhile, the TSA is X-Raying babies.

Actually, a grandmother inexperienced with the process put the baby through. The moment the TSA inspector saw it, he turned off the power and pulled the baby out.

Best comment: "I want in flight bacon!".

Sadly, with the stupid plastic knives they give people, I don't see how that would be possible. I'd try to find a way to Alton Brown myself a makeshift spit and fire, then use the plastic utensils to cut off some buttery delicious pork loin.

And now, there will be a separate security line for crazy people with iguanas.

If there's a market for it, then why not Crazy People With Iguanas Airlines?

"We get you -- and you igauna -- there! With complimentary apple slices for every reptile passenger."
posted by dw at 1:32 PM on December 21, 2006


"Yes sir, I must travel with a vast assortment of venomous snakes. It's for my anxiety, you see."

Mothafuckin Service Animal Snakes on a Muthafuckin plane!!
posted by spicynuts at 1:33 PM on December 21, 2006


In the future, I will travel with my service ferret to chew the toes off of bawling infants who annoy me. Tell me that wouldn't be emotionally supportive!
posted by adamrice at 2:17 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


And yet the last time I tried to fly with my life-partner Sally (the sheep) they said no way. Okay, so she was inflatable, sticky and smelled terrible. I was a nervous wreck on that flight without her. Bastards.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 2:29 PM on December 21, 2006


"TSOs have been trained not to ... play ... service animals."
posted by niles at 2:32 PM on December 21, 2006


I need my 'service revolver' on the plane with me. It's ok, I'll load it with 38 special +p rounds.

A miniature horse on a plane? that's crazy, but if someone brought one of those cool fainting goats on a plane, I would be rather amused.
posted by drstein at 3:25 PM on December 21, 2006


No parrot-on-the-shoulder special instructions? This is pure anti-pirate discrimination! Arrr!
posted by clevershark at 5:28 PM on December 21, 2006


if you touch my service monkey, it will rise up and spit at you. otoh, if you're nice to me (and really hott), it will service you too!
posted by bruce at 9:14 PM on December 21, 2006


I actually broke that flying pig story - one of my favorite pieces ever. I got the tip at 2 p.m. one afternoon and had the story completely reported in about 3 hours and it led the paper (the Philadelphia Daily News, a tab) the next day. At first I thought it was an urban legend but I came up with zero at Snopes.
I managed to track down a couple sources who were aboard the flight. (Hint to young reporters: Talk to labor union reps when you're looking for weird shit like this.) And someone faxed me an incident report.

The call for comment from USAir was classic.

Me: I want you to comment on a report we'll be running in tomorrow's paper that you let a 300 pound pig into first class on one of your flights.
Spokesman: Oh, that can't be true. Let me make a couple calls.
Ten minutes later...
Spokesman: Um, we can confirm that there was a pig.

Here's the story. (Don't ask me why I can't find it at my own paper.)

The original headline: Swine Flew

Afterwards, the paper launched a pig hunt. We set up a tip hotline: 215-854-LARD. It took us 3 weeks of grueling reporting (like I said, we're a tab) till we finally found the oinker. When we spoke to the owner, she accused the paper of anti-pig bias.

A month later the FAA cleared USAirways of any flight violation: "USAirways and its personnel acted in a reasonable and thoughtful manner, based on a legitimate request to transport a qualified individual with a disability and her service animal."

That was a helluva fun story.
posted by sixpack at 9:23 AM on December 22, 2006


sixpack - your link is porked borked.
posted by deborah at 10:46 AM on December 22, 2006


« Older Robot...   |   Electroplankton... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments