SO CUTE: Daniel The Flying Emotional Support Duck

Filed Under: Travel

This happened in mid-October, though somehow I only saw it today. In mid-October a passenger Tweeted about an emotional support duck on his regional jet flight from Charlotte to Asheville.

Apparently the duck’s name is Daniel, and he couldn’t be cuter. The owner even has a video of him boarding the plane:

ABC has a story about why the duck’s owner was prescribed an emotional support animal:

She suffers from PTSD after a serious accident in 2013. She was driving a horse and carriage around Milwaukee when she was struck by a driver who was texting on her phone.

Carla was thrown from her carriage and it took her months to walk again and regain use of her arm.

Her doctor prescribed Daniel as a therapy animal when he appeared to have a calming effect on her, especially when he senses a panic attack coming on.

Is Daniel adorable, or what?

(Tip of the hat to AJ)

  1. Oh man, this is going to open a can of worms !

    Before everyone starts writing what they think, two things.

    1.Some people don’t mind emotional support animals
    2.Some people don’t Like emotional support animals

    You are either one or the other. No need to rant about how its all ridiculous, we get it.

  2. A duck has no place in the passenger cabin of a commerical plane, emotional support, physical support, or with a paid ticket.

  3. This “emotional support animal” BS is getting out of hand. I don’t mind if you have a legitimate reason (i.e. blindness, a physical disability, or some kind of military PTSD) but people have been really abusing the system and taking away from people who really need it.

    Last month, I was in the United Club at EWR and some woman (very obviously there was nothing wrong with her psychically unless you consider extreme plastic facial surgery a disability) brought her dog that had a “support animal jacket.” She ran off to charge her phone, get some snacks, etc. all while the dog was sitting there (thank god it was well behaved and not making too much noise).

    As if the United Club couldn’t get worse, they allow people like her to bring their “emotional support animals…”

  4. Can I bring my emotional support cow on my next flight? All kidding aside I agree this has gotten a little out of hand. I know several people who have had Doctors write notes so that their cat or dog can be a emotional support animal. That way they can get on a plane without paying a fee. It is important to distinguish a service animal vs an emotional support animal. Service animals are very important and trained. While some ESAs are trained a lot are not. I agree that emotional support animals do wonders for many people but it’s sad because it’s constantly taken advantage of. I really don’t have a solution to offer…maybe just let everyone bring their animals everywhere, cause that’s the direction we are heading. The duck is cute though.

  5. Suffering succotash!
    Why can’t the doctor have prescribed a cat or dog?
    Yes the duck is cute, ( indeed Daffy is my favourite cartoon character) however why is it almost entirely only Americans who appear to think they must have all and sundry as ” emotional support ” animals : pigs , rats, turkeys, lizards , monkeys, horses etc when the rest of the developed world manages perfectly well with a cat or dog. They provide wonderful companionship
    Nor are ducks supposed to be harnessed and wear booties!

  6. Where do Emotional Support Ducks (ESD’s) go when they flunk out of ESA school? They turn into business class appetizers. Let’s see how cute Daniel is when he sees his sibling plated in front of him.

  7. Haha! Imagine that in International First class. The first duck in the world that visits the Emirates onboard lounge and showers on a plane. So cute!

  8. @Mo Hilarious
    I wonder how many redeemable miles and elite qualiyfying miles ducks earn on flights like this. Daniel has also top tier status I suppose?! LOL

  9. Just give it up, everyone. I hate cute; yet, even I thought Daniel was adorable. And from what I understand he was exceptionally well behaved. I can’t recall the last time I’ve been able to say that about an onboard infant/toddler.

  10. I was hoping this post may have been about Dantorp Aviation. Possibly about reassuring people who are late and queueing up for check-in.

  11. @Andrew: I recall reading birds do not have a sphincter at the bottom end so poop more or less comes out whenever.

    Cute as Daniel may be, this ESA nonsense is getting out of hand. It just makes things harder for those with service animals and real disabilities.

    If the airlines started charging $25 to bring an ESA aboard, I bet a lot of these people would suddenly discover they’re capable of flying alone just fine.

  12. ESA are a joke sorry. Only people who really need support animals should have an animal on a plane. For example, a seeing eye dog. People widely abuse this and its absurd. The duck is cute, but come on.

  13. Judging from the amount of nasty duck shit all over our lake house dock, I wouldn’t want this on board. Not to mention the parasites they carry.

  14. The duck will just let go whenever it needs to let go. And ducks poop quite frequently. And ducks are carriers of many diseases we humans catch.

  15. What a fucking fruitcake. Also, I respect the f-ing duck. But enjoy fois gras. May I have the breast please? But seriously folks…try the products that suit you and your “reader” base.

  16. The issue is 99% of the time they are fake Emotional Support Animals and in the future if the airline start charging $200 for them, we will see a big decrease of those fake E.S.A.

    I don’t have a problem with the real one, but looks like nobody care if a passenger have some kind of allergies from a pet.

  17. One foie gras to go please :). On a serious note, what does one do when the emotional support animal decides to take a poop?
    Also this is going a little too far. Having survived the 26/11 attacks on the Taj Mahal, and finding body parts and explosives while cleaning the hotel after, we got on with the job, went through counselling, and are all fine today. This emotional support thing is going a bit too far, IMO

  18. As someone that’s deaf since birth and can get a dog for the deaf if I want to…but this is abusing the system.

    I had see fake service animals and I know what to look for. This is out of hand.

  19. I read an article a few months ago about how all the US carriers are going nuts and really getting stretched with all the Emotional Support Animals coming on board now. They’ve got no choice due to ADA regulations. Of course there are real needs for service animals, but anyone now can go online and pay $170 and get a doctor’s certificate and all the patches and vests and badges you need. It’s a total scam to avoid the pet fee.

    In the story they mentioned dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, birds….and multiples of each! Someone had THREE dogs on one flight. Another person had 2 hamsters. Of course they DON’T have to be caged like regular on board pets (which cost $200 bucks extra) because then their owner would be deprived of their support!

  20. Rest of my comment is here:

    Earlier this year I was on a transcon from EWR to LAX and 4 animals got on. Only one was in business, a woman next to me unfortunately, who had a thankfully very well-behaved dog that slept under her legs the whole time. She said she’s been flying with her for 8 years. The owner didn’t show any outward signs of any disability. She was just weird.

    But walking past us to coach there were two cats in a carrier, who when they came onboard, PEED all over the entrance to the plane and left it for the flight attendants to clean up (who then made the gate agents do it.) Disgusting. And no apology at all. Following the cats was a giant bulldog on a leash and soon after a mixed breed medium dog also on a leash. I have no idea where these animals sat during the flight, which btw was completely full.

    You don’t often pity FA’s, but I did on this flight.

    So this duck seems over the top, but at least the woman’s story is legit. Seems like therapy could help though, instead of an animal crutch. What’s she going to do when Daniel dies? And what do they do with the duck s#*t on the plane?


  21. Agree with @ben. Only could something as ridiculous as this happen in US.the world sits back and laughs their freekin heads of . Hahahahaha. Reminds me of flights in Asia and Africa when you used to find half a farm yard on board…. Aaahahahaha!!!!

  22. And what happens in the case of an emergency evacuation? Imagine the cause-of-death report :”dead because couldn’t get out in time as victim fell over a … duck while evacuating”.

  23. @747always you were at the Taj on 26/11? Any way I could speak with you? I’d really appreciate it if I could. No I’m not a journalist in case you’re wondering.

  24. This is f***ing out of control. If this guy wants to travel, he should put his duck in a car and drive there on his own

  25. For all you haters out there: looks like you didn’t read TFA:

    > Her doctor prescribed Daniel as a therapy animal when he appeared to have a calming effect on her, especially when he senses a panic attack coming on.

    If this is legit, and it sounds like it is, then Daniel is a legitimate service animal, has a useful purpose, and allows his owner to do something the rest of us takes for granted. To me that’s called a Liberty and a Freedom, and is exactly what the USA ought to stand for.

    If he’s well behaved, and it looks like he is, I don’t see any problem allowing him onboard whatsoever. So what if he’s a duck instead of a cat or dog? What difference does it make? Are we discriminating on animals now? Is skin color or sexual orientation not enough?

    Lastly: Damn Daniel!

    @tim: I’d like to see you drive 2 weeks across the country for a weekend trip.

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