Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Delta Reservations. How May I Help You?

Remember when you thought an idea was so crazy that it would happen "when pigs fly?" Well, hold onto your overalls. Pigs will now fly, on commercial airline flights. Most of you had a problem believing that the feds would require that mini-horses be allowed in public facilities. Some of you even believed that I was making mini-horses up entirely. So you're really not gonna believe this one.

When you leave the restaurant after stepping over mini-road apples on your way to the airport, consider this: Watch your step as you go down the aisle of that jumbo jet, lest you step in some used pig food or trip over Porky. I'll bet you didn't know there was an Air Carrier Access Act. And if you did, you probably thought they were talking about wheelchair access, or access for the sight-impaired. But it's much bigger than that.

Here are the words from the final draft of the Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel Assistance Manual: "Swine must be allowed on airplanes if they are determined to be service animals." The airlines have always allowed too many swine on their planes, but they previously weren't the four-legged kind. The manual then goes on to provide airline employees with helpful tips on how to determine if the animal is a service animal or just a plain old pig.

"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?" I know what I'd do, but then I would be an ex-airline employee. They are told to ask: "What tasks or functions does your animal perform for you? What has its training been?" They forgot to add: "Keep a straight face." It goes on: "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."

What if the employee is still not sure? There's always that supervising bureaucrat to call in for help. "You should call a CRO (Complaints Resolution Official) if there is any further doubt as to whether the pig is the passenger's service animal." I suppose the CRO will then ask questions such as: "Are you so emotionally-crippled that you have to fly cross-country with a pig?" If the passenger weepily says "yes," then all aboard.

Now I see some discrimination that hasn't been addressed here. What about the pig's credentials? Since political-correctness says that pets no longer exist, and there are only non-human companions, the pig should have to answer a few questions as well. For instance: "Are you carrying or have you ingested any explosives in the past 24 hours?" Or: "Have you at any time in the past year disguised yourself as a sheep in order to make contact with Al Qaeda or some other terrorist organization?"

Wendy Ponzo of the North American Potbellied Pig Association says the pigs can be used as service animals because they also seem to have a sense if the owner is not feeling well to stay by them." And do what? But I'm nitpicking. At least they can be trained to use a litter box, though I'm not sure where on the plane they would put it and who's responsible for cleaning and dumping it. And after all, they're small--right? A pot-bellied pig can weigh up to 300 pounds.

I'm also a little curious about how the employees and their CROs are going to handle it when an angry group of Yemeni Jihadists board the plane and get their first sight of Porky occupying a seat in first class. The feds insist that other farm animals are excluded, such as horses (but not mini-horses), cows, mules, sheep, goats, spiders and snakes. But if Porky is allowed today for emotional support, can Betty Boa be far behind? "Betty, do you provide emotional support for your human companion?" Answer: "Yesssssssss."

You've heard the expression "the camel's nose under the tent." Well, meet "the pig's snout under the trough." All aboard the Petticoat Junction express!

45 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Does the act mention anything about service chickens? And also what about cats? Aside from T-Rav's maniacal obsession about killer kitties and shooting same in the face, shouldn't this act also extend to cats?

Patriot said...

LawHawk, you hit on the answer in your second to last paragraph. Once CAIR, or some other Islamic-American (Deltan....Unitedan?)group starts "squeeling" about these pigs as unclean and an insult to their religion, then the pigs owners will just have to find another way to get from Hooterville NY to Pig Turd Alley in CA.

Because in America, Muslims are the preferred "victim".....disabled Americans, emotionally disturbed New Yorkers, fuggetabouit!!

And don't even let the Islamists know about all the "male chauvinist pigs" that fly every day in the seats next to them! Hell, let the listen to the non-stop talking "boars" next to them on flights! Not to mention the cops ("pigs") that sit next to them.

How long before the " Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel Assistance Manual" is revised to recognize the supremacy of the "porky intolerant" among us?

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I can get with that. But keep it quiet. Both of my cats are now eyeing me wondering when we get to fly to Katmandu. They're determined, but not too bright.

Meanwhile, Niko the Wonder Dog is jealously eyeing both of the cats. He knows he can't fly as a guide dog since he keeps trying to trip me. When he starts feeding me instead of the other way around, we'll be free to fly together.

AndrewPrice said...

What? You don't have a therapy pig? You are so last Century, man! ;)

Tennessee Jed said...

when donkeys fly out of my butt, Hawk . . . . oh, wait a minute. l.o.l.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patriot: No problem for the feds, actually. When the Jihadists board and their tender sensitivities are offended, the bureaucrats will simply order that the airline provide a separate pig-free flight just for them. Costs mean nothing to federal bureaucrats. Then, another bureaucrat will fine the airline for excessive use of greenhouse gas producing fuel. You must remember that the feds are there to be all things to all men, no matter what the cost (to you).

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I'm never a follower, always a leader. So on my next flight, I'm taking my service anaconda with me. She loves to cuddle with me and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy which helps to overcome my fear of flying. I need Misssssssss Prissssss (that's her name) with me to keep me from going nuts in midflight and declaring that we're about to crash.

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, firstly, mini-horses DO exist AND they make great service animals. http://www.guidehorse.com/
So take THAT you neigh-sayers (okay, that was by pure coincidence, really)

Secondly - Pigs are cool and smart. I really can't wait to see the first time "pigs fly" for real. They have to better than children.
This is so timely because I have been trying to figure out how to get my new puppy back from Houston in September without having to pay the exorbitant fee just to carry them on the plane in a bag which has to be one of my two carry-ons. What a scam...

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, maybe I will dress Hugo Chi-vez up as a service pig. I'm sure I can find a doctor who can vouch for my near psychotic behavior if I don't have my service pig.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Sounds painful, but if they're assistance donkeys they'll be able to fly with you as soon as the medics finish working on you.

T-Rav said...

Joel, it is not a "maniacal obsession" of mine! I prefer to think of it as a hobby.

On that note, though, if they're going to bringing cats on planes, anyone know what kind of training you have to go through to become an air marshal? Just out of curiosity...

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Wait 'til you try to get your 300 pound pot-belly on board in a carry-on.

For a picture and the story about giant St. Bernards--uh, mini-horses--see Horsefeathers!.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Just let loose with torrents of tears at the thought of being separated for even a moment from Hugo, and they'll know he's an emotional support animal. No need for shrinks, just act sufficiently bereft.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I think the air marshals manual specifically says that they can't shoot kittens in the face once the cabin has been pressurized.

T-Rav said...

Pressurized, shmessurized, whatever helps me get my quota.

As for the actual story--I don't really have a problem with this, except that making a pig your service animal is a bad idea in itself. Making what is primarily a source of food your service animal and then of course bonding with it will lead to nothing but trouble. Not to mention, are they even that good at it?

Mini-horses, on the other hand....that's just adorable.

Patti said...

personally, i think it's a great idea. and the bigger the piggy, the better. y'all have all seen "lost", right?!

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: I guess that explains why one of my granddaughters, an FFA member, has a service turkey. BTW: Have you ever eaten choice horsemeat? Mini-horsemeat would be comparable to cornish game hen. Small, but tasty.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: I am getting ready to file a complaint with the ADA people for discrimination. Their regs are devoted almost exclusively to pot-belly pigs, which are essentially Vietnamese. I intend to get an Arkansas razorback as my service pig, and they haven't made any provision for that. They are discriminating against good old-fashioned American pigs.

LawHawkRFD said...

Totally Off-Topic: I will be in a particularly good mood for the next few days at least. The repairman just finished installing the new motor on my air-conditioner. It was 106 outside when he arrived, but has dropped all the way down to 104 and holding. But inside. Ah, inside. It is a wonderful 78 degrees. Niko the Wonder Dog is lying right in the path of one of the vents, and hasn't moved in about an hour. But I did check, and he's breathing.

BevfromNYC said...

But why can't I just claim that I'm Hugo's service-animal? He can't travel without MY help or guidance either.

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

What if the pig is a service animal but not your service animal. Perhaps you are a linguistics consultant flying the pig to a special hospice where it will recieve much needed attention in addressing its stuttering problem.

Furthermore what if teh pig freaks out on the airkline and won't sit in its assigned seat. what if the pig charges the cockpit cabin door. With a human we'd stop the plane and arrest the individual. do we do this with the pig. Hmmmm... I remember reading in a history book that a 16th century magistrate convicted a pig of murder and it was hung from the gallows. It's last words were recorded as "Grunt. Gonk gnk grrt".

Maybe Obama is reviving the tradition of trying animals for crimes after all if they have the same rights as people then should they not have the same responsibilities. from now on Poo Poo tickets should be given to the dog and not the owner. How will they pay for it.. don't worry Citibank will give your dog a credit card i hear.

rlaWTX said...

Bev - fly out of San Fran, and you'd probably be able to get away with that line!!

I read a while back that college dorms are having to allow "service" guinea pigs (are they covered by this flight ruling?), hamsters, etc even though the dorms have a no pet policy. These rodents apparently support their servicee during the hard times of life, and the servicees may not be discriminated against since the dorms allow service dogs.
Seriously - how juvenilized can we make college students nowadays???

T-Rav: I think the kittens have read "Animal Farm" - if you notice unusual internet browsing history about "service pigs", beware!

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, I know how you feel. Our heat wave finally broke over the weekend, and we've dropped from 105 all the way down to 90-ish. After two weeks of watching everything outdoors reach the verge of spontaneous combustion, it feels wonderful.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, T-Rav, pigs are just as smart as Democrats!

Individualist said...

Bev

Nah... Pigs is smarter than Democrats!

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Give 'em time. It will all become part and parcel of a thousand page manual just on service animals. And like every other silly idea from the feds, common sense won't play a part in it. Eventually, the mental health and emotions of the animal itself will get into the picture. The service animal corps of bureaucrats alone will be greater than the population of Nevada in no time.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Never fear. There will be an entire corps of bureaucrats to handle just those issues you've raised. I can't wait for the first time a pig doesn't like flying in business class and demands to be quartered in first class. I'm sure they'll find a way to accommodate both the pig and its human companion, at the airline's expense of course.

PETA will never allow criminal trials for animals, which have more right to live than humans.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Shades of the Pet Rock. Nobody would object to someone bringing his or her pet rock aboard, would they? Unless of course the pet rock is the Rock of Gibraltar or Plymouth Rock. But I'm sure there's a bureaucratic regulation to cover that, so why worry?

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Our one blessing is that we have dry desert heat. On the other hand, the direct sun is merciless. My younger daughter now lives in Bakersfield, and though the temperature there has been a bit lower, the humidity is much like the midwest. It can be nearly unbearable.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I'm pretty sure of they had put together Oinkcare instead of Obamacare, the pigs would have proved their superiority to Democrats.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Not entirely true. The pot-bellies and the Democrats are simply two different breeds of pig. The former are the intelligent ones. The latter are the ones perpetually hungry for everyone else's food.

T-Rav said...

Bev, they are also infinitely more delicious. Can you imagine trying to make a slab of bacon out of Barney Frank's oh...ugh...oh, I just threw up in my stomach

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: This is a family blog. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Napoleon: It's a little hard to tell, since some Commandments are more equal than others.

LawHawkRFD said...

Snowball: Did you plagiarize the Air Travel Assistance Manual, or did they plagiarize you?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Airline Employee: "Excuse me sir, what is that you are eating from that bag?"

USS Ben: "Bacon."

AE: "I'm afraid we can't allow that."

USS Ben: "It's for emotional support."

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up, LawHawk! LOL!
It would be funny to see someone board with a pig, preferrably with lipstick, and see the reaction of any CAIR members on board. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

LawHawkRFD said...
Andrew: I'm never a follower, always a leader. So on my next flight, I'm taking my service anaconda with me. She loves to cuddle with me and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy which helps to overcome my fear of flying. I need Misssssssss Prissssss (that's her name) with me to keep me from going nuts in midflight and declaring that we're about to crash."

Snake On A Plane!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

T-Rav said...
As for the actual story--I don't really have a problem with this, except that making a pig your service animal is a bad idea in itself. Making what is primarily a source of food your service animal and then of course bonding with it will lead to nothing but trouble."

Stewardess: "He's so cute! What's your pig's name sir?"

Clint: "You don't name somethin' you might have to eat."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

What about my seeing-eye eagle?

"Please don't stare at Earl. He don't like it when people stare. plus, it's rude."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Does Hogzilla's owner hafta purchase two seats?

rlaWTX said...

"the browsers have been confiscated as disruptive of proper thought."
T-Rav, thanks for the explanation; I thought I'd missed the Revolution!

Ben, my cousin had a pig they named Bacon. He never became bacon though - he was just a really big pet.

LawHawkRFD said...

USSBen: That'll teach the pig to eat his homework!

I suspect CAIR already has cadres of agitators waiting at airports for the sight of a service pig. This should be fun.

LawHawkRFD said...

USSBen: I guess I'd better check ahead to make sure you-know-who isn't on the same flight.

LawHawkRFD said...

USSBen: With your help, the Disability in Air Travel Assistance Manual is growing exponentially. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I had a St. Bernard named Petunia. Does that count?

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