When Pigs Fly (The Time Is Apparently Now)
Via @jamestaranto, Elizabeth Harrington reports at CNSNews that airlines must let passengers fly with their, um, service swine:
The DOT published its "Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Draft Technical Assistance Manual" in the Federal Register on July 5, providing guidance that allows swine on airplanes if they are determined to be service animals.
...The manual states: "A passenger arrives at the gate accompanied by a pot-bellied pig. She claims that the pot-bellied pig is her service animal. What should you do?"
"Generally, you must permit a passenger with a disability to be accompanied by a service animal," reads the manual. "However, if you have a reasonable basis for questioning whether the animal is a service animal, you may ask for some verification."
The manual instructs airline carriers and their employees to begin by asking questions about the animal, such as, "What tasks or functions does your animal perform for you?" or "What has its training been?"
"If you are not satisfied with the credibility of the answers to these questions or if the service animal is an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you may request further verification," the guidebook states. "You should also call a CRO [Complaints Resolution Official] if there is any further doubt as to whether the pot-bellied pig is the passenger's service animal."
If the answers are satisfactory, pot-bellied pigs, which can weigh as much as 300 pounds, must be accepted aboard the plane.
There are people who actually need service animals -- and there are many who simply say they do so they can take their pet on the plane while avoiding hefty fees paid by people like me (when I flew with my dog).
P.S. If I had a pig, I'd name it "Bacon" as incentive for it to behave.