This year US airlines have started to crack down on emotional support animals, with Delta (for example) introducing restrictions on them three separate times. This followed airlines seeing a huge increase in both the number and types of emotional support animals that people traveled with.
While dogs have been a long time favorite, we’ve also seen turkeys, peacocks, hamsters, and more, make headlines.
To capitalize a bit on all of this talk and controversy, Popeyes Chicken did something pretty hilarious at Philadelphia Airport yesterday. For one day only, they sold “emotional support chicken.”
Basically they just sold chicken in boxes that said “Emotional Support Chicken,” with the following message on the box:
This chicken provides comfort and nourishment during stressful air travel. Unlike other chicken, it is marinated in real Louisiana spices for 12 hours and must be permitted to fly without restrictions. Do note leave unattended, as Popeyes is not responsible for lost or stolen chicken.
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) December 18, 2018
Obviously they were taking advantage of what’s commonly used as a point of humor, given how ridiculous some people have gotten with emotional support animals. Like most things nowadays, this campaign has also gotten some backlash.
Specifically, those with “legitimate” disabilities are talking about how people being ridiculed for having ESAs makes it harder for them to travel, and this just makes things even worse.
I get that perspective, though;
- First of all, there’s a difference between emotional support animals and service animals, and the validity of any service animals is not being brought into question here (this includes dogs for the blind, etc.)
- Even among those with a “legitimate” need for an emotional support animal (or more legitimate than those who just get “certified” online for a small payment), there are a lot of questions regarding how effective ESAs are to begin with
What do you guys think — was this campaign from Popeyes funny or inappropriate?