Perhaps inspired by the woman who bravely attempted to board a United Airlines flight with an emotional support peacock in tow (his name was Dexter, and, sadly, he was stopped at the gate), Popeyes is now selling "Emotional Support Chicken." Yes, starting today, travelers passing through Philadelphia International Airport can stop by the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Terminal C and purchase a three-piece fried chicken meal in a cute, chicken-shaped to-go container to bring on their flight.
"This chicken provides comfort and nourishment during stressful air travel," the side of the box reads. "Unlike other chicken, it is marinated in real Louisiana spices for 12 hours and must be permitted to fly without restriction. Do not leave unattended, as Popeyes is not responsible for lost or stolen chicken."
The limited-edition promotion was intended to give customers "a good laugh," as Popeyes CMO Hope Diaz said in a statement. "We appreciate how comforting emotional support animals are and wanted to create our own version. The good news is that our emotional support chicken is permitted to fly without any restrictions—one less worry for busy travelers!"
Those "restrictions" Popeyes keeps mentioning are no joke. This month, Delta announced that they will no longer allow emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours. And American Airlines recently did a complete overhaul on its emotional support animal guidelines. Some sample rules: your little buddy can't eat from the tray table, and, if you plan to keep your pet on your lap for the duration of the flight, it must be smaller than "a two-year-old child." Amphibians, ferrets, goats, hedgehogs, insects, reptiles, rodents, snakes, spiders, sugar gliders, "non-household birds" (like chickens—sorry Popeyes), and any animals with tusks, horns or hooves are banned. There's one very important exception to that last one, though: you can still bring a miniature horse along if it's properly trained as a service animal. May we all be so lucky as to have an extremely polite mini-horse as a seatmate someday.