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]

Hotel in Japan Is Offering Rooms for $1 Per Night—If You Agree to Livestream Your Stay

DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images
DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images

Many people are happy to document their vacations online without getting paid to do it. Now, as The Washington Post reports, exhibitionists who can't resist low prices are now eligible to book a hotel room in Fukuoka, Japan for just $1 a night. In return, they must agree to livestream their experience.

Tetsuya Inoue, the manager of Asahi Ryokan in Fukuoka, got the idea for the marketing stunt after one of his guests broadcast his stay voluntarily. Inoue figured that if people are already comfortable sharing their private moments in the hotel with the world, he might as well use that to his advantage.

The "One Dollar Hotel" promotion is a way for Inoue to bring attention to the 30-year-old guesthouse, which is owned by his grandmother. For $1—a fee that covers lodging, taxes, and tips—customers have access to a room that normally costs $27 a night. As guests eat, sleep, and get ready for the day, a camera installed in the room livestreams their every move to the hotel's YouTube channel. The only place where they have privacy is in the bathroom. Signs in the room warn guests not to engage in any "lewd acts" and to keep passports and credit cards out of the camera's field of view.

In addition to generating publicity for Asahi Ryokan, Inoue hopes that his YouTube videos will eventually become popular enough to monetize. Five guests have agreed to the deal so far, and after launching in October, the One Dollar Hotel YouTube channel already has close to 15,000 subscribers.

[h/t The Washington Post]

Planning a Trip? These Are the 10 U.S. Airlines Most Likely to Bump You

shironosov/iStock via Getty Images
shironosov/iStock via Getty Images

Booking your trip home for the holidays in advance is no guarantee you'll make it on the plane. Even after driving to the airport, making it through security, and getting to your gate on time, there's still a chance you'll be bumped from the flight you originally paid for. Overbooking is part of most airlines' business models, so there's no way to completely safeguard yourself against this inconvenient scenario. But in addition to paying extra for a higher-class ticket and checking in early as possible, you can reduce your risk of getting bumped by knowing which airlines are most likely to do it.

Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines are by far the most notorious when it comes to bumping passengers, Travel + Leisure reports. They were the stand-out airlines in a recent analysis by Upgraded Points that looked at which U.S. commercial aviation companies are most likely to involuntarily deny boarding to customers.

According to the report, Frontier bumped 6.28 people per every 100,000 passengers in 2018. In that same year, Spirit bumped 5.57 out of every 100,000 passengers. Those airlines were twice as likely as any other name on the list to stop people from boarding their flights. The closest behind them was Alaska Airlines with 2.3 bumps per every 100,000 customers.

The good news is that your overall chances of getting bumped from a flight are smaller than they were a few years ago. Upgraded Points found that the phenomena reached its peak in the second half of 2016, and rates had dropped significantly by the end of 2018.

If you'd still like to do everything in your power to make sure you make it onto your flight, check out the list below of the airlines that bump the most passengers before booking your holiday travel. And if you have been bumped in the past, here's how to collect the compensation you may be owed.

  1. Frontier Airlines
  1. Spirit Airlines
  1. Alaska Airlines
  1. PSA Airlines
  1. American Airlines
  1. Mesa Airlines
  1. Skywest Airlines
  1. Southwest Airlines
  1. Allegiant Air
  1. Republic Airlines

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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