Flying can be pretty stressful. Our palms are a little sweaty writing this whilst imagining careening 500 miles per hour at 37,000 feet in the air trapped in a metal tube. Delightful. Plenty of people feel like this, which is why emotional support animals have been such a topic of conversation over the past few years.
As it stands, emotional support animals are calming for people who suffer from PTSD and similar disorders. They’re excellent companions who serve an excellent purpose for people in need. They have, however, been the subject of scrutiny by airlines recently because people want to fly with their emotional support animals. At first, this was fine because emotional support animals were most commonly dogs, and dogs have been onboard flight passengers for a long time.
Where they’ve run into trouble has been people bringing increasingly unusual animals like ducks, geese, chickens, etc. aboard a plane, claiming that they are emotional support animals. Of course, this puts airlines in a sticky situation because they’ve no desire to tell someone that they can’t fly with their emotional support animal (legit or not), but also don’t want to have, say, live poultry on the plane. This has been a theme and just a few of the most outlandish emotional support animals include the following: a peacock, a turkey, a miniature horse, a monkey, and a pig.
Studies show that people who travel with a mixed (friends and family) group typically remember their trips at least 20% better than an unmixed group. But no matter who you’re with, who could forget sitting across the aisle from a pony?
Airlines have since tightened regulations on emotional support animals. This gave birth to a hilarious marketing idea that’s currently all the rage in a Philadelphia airport. Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants in the United States has more than doubled. Fast food establishments are particularly popular in airports because of their speedy convenience and fair prices.
Popeye’s Louisiana Fried Chicken hatched a clever plan. They released a menu item that is a handheld fried chicken carrier labeled Emotional Support Chicken that people can take on planes with them. Except this chicken is merely comfort food, not a live animal.
“We know holiday travel can be frustrating, and there’s no better way to ease stress than with a box of delicious Popeyes fried chicken and a good laugh,” said Hope Diaz, chief marketing officer for Popeye’s.
Their tongue-in-cheek marketing has caught the attention of people all over the world. The next time you’re nervous before a flight, perhaps your comfort is merely an order of Emotional Support Chicken away.