Miniature Horses Now Included on the List of Service Animals Airlines Must Allow to Fly

Chris6/iStock via Getty Images
Chris6/iStock via Getty Images

Unusual pets are fairly commons sights at the airport these days, but due to recent crackdowns, not all of them make it past the security gate. Many airlines try to limit the animals they allow in their cabin to cats and dogs, but following new guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, that list may soon get more diverse. As The Drive reports, the DoT is now encouraging airlines to accept miniature horses as legitimate service animals for flyers.

Commercial airplanes, which aren't exactly known for being spacious, may be the last places you'd expect to see a horse. But miniature horses can provide essential services to people with disabilities such as visual impairments or mobility issues. Even though they're not very common as household pets, miniature horses rank among cats and dogs as some the most popular service animals.

With this in mind, the DoT updated its guidelines on which species should be permitted to fly in the cabins of commercial planes. The statement [PDF] reads:

"[A]fter reviewing the comments on this issue, we believe that it would be in the public interest and within our discretionary authority to prioritize ensuring that the most commonly recognized service animals (i.e., dogs, cats, and miniature horses) are accepted for transport."

This doesn't mean that all airlines are now obligated to board therapy mini horses by law, but if they decide to ignore the new guideline, they could face a penalty. The document also doesn't say that every service animal that isn't a cat, dog, or mini horse should be rejected outright; rather, every animal that's brought to an airline—whether it's a pig or peacock—should be considered on a case-by-case basis. The only creatures commercial flight companies are allowed to ban explicitly from flying with passengers are ferrets, rodents, snakes, reptiles, and spiders.

It's worth noting that the new guidelines don't necessarily apply to emotional support horses; while service animals are trained and protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, emotional support animals require no training, just the assertion from their owners (and often a letter from a doctor) that the pet provides essential comfort. For this reason, emotional support animals are much more difficult to get into the cabins of planes.

[h/t The Drive]

Write a Letter to Shakespeare’s Juliet for a Chance to Spend Valentine’s Day in Her Romantic Verona Home

Airbnb
Airbnb

Shakespeare didn’t specify which luxurious Italian estate was home to Juliet and her family in Romeo and Juliet, but hopeless romantics have linked a certain 13th-century house in Verona to the Capulets for many years. A balcony was even added during the 20th century to mirror the famous scene from Shakespeare’s play.

Now, Airbnb is offering one pair of star-crossed lovers the opportunity to stay in the house for Valentine’s Day. To apply, you have to write a letter to Juliet explaining why you and your sweetheart would be the ideal guests for the one-night getaway. The winner will be chosen by the Juliet Club, an organization responsible for answering the 50,000 letters addressed to Juliet each year.

juliet's house in verona, italy
Airbnb

If you’re chosen, you won’t just get to spend the evening reenacting the few happy parts of Romeo and Juliet—you’ll also be treated to a candlelight dinner with a cooking demonstration by Michelin-starred Italian chef Giancarlo Perbellini, access to a personal butler for the duration of your stay, tours of both the house and the city of Verona, and the chance to read and answer some letters sent to Juliet. Even the bed you’ll sleep in is especially romantic—it’s the one used in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

juliet's house in verona, italy
Airbnb

juliet's house in verona, italy
Airbnb

And, of course, you’ll be giving yourself the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift: Freedom from the pressure to plan a perfect Valentine’s Day. The contest is open now through February 2, 2020, and you can apply here.

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We’re Lovin’ the McSki, Sweden’s Ski-Thru McDonald’s

Per-Olof Forsberg, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Per-Olof Forsberg, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Gliding down the slopes for a few hours can leave you happily exhausted and so ravenous that you wish you could stuff a big, juicy burger in your mouth before you even get back to the lodge. At one Swedish ski resort, you can.

Lindvallen, a ski resort located approximately 200 miles northwest of Stockholm, is home to the McSki, a quaint, wood-paneled McDonald’s that you simply ski right up to. If all the surrounding snow leaves you with a hankering for a McFlurry, have at it; Delish reports that you can order anything from the regular McDonald’s menu. (Having said that, we can’t promise the McFlurry machine will actually be working.)

The ski-thru window is ideal for skiers and snowboarders who don’t want to break for a lengthy lunch, but there’s an option for people who would rather not scarf down a combo meal while standing up: According to the blog Messy Nessy, the indoor seating area can accommodate up to 140 people.

The McSki has been delighting (and nourishing) vacationers since it opened in 1996, and it’s definitely a must-visit for ski lovers and fast food aficionados alike. It’s not, however, the strangest McDonald’s restaurant in the world. New Zealand built one inside an airplane, and there’s also a giant Happy Meal-shaped McDonald’s in Dallas. Explore 10 other downright bizarre McDonald’s locations here.

[h/t Delish]

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