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]

Florida to Open Its First-Ever Snow Park

Zuberka/iStock via Getty Images
Zuberka/iStock via Getty Images

Millions of tourists flock to Florida each year to ride roller coasters, meet their favorite cartoon characters, and lounge on the beach. The state isn't famous for its winter activities, but that could soon change. As WESH 2 reports, Florida's first-ever snow park is coming to Dade City in 2020.

At Snowcat Ridge, guests will be able to take part in the same snowy fun that's up North. The main attraction of the park will be a 60-foot-tall, 400-foot-long slope packed with snow. A lift will transport visitors to the top of the hill, and from there, they'll use inner tubes to slide back down to ground level. Single, double, and six-person family tubes will be provided to riders.

Guests can also check out the 10,000-square-foot play dome, where they'll use real snow to build snow castles and snow men. The area will even feature a small hill for young visitors who aren't ready for more serious snow-tubing. And because the best part of playing in the snow all day is warming up afterwards, Snowcat Ridge will be home to an Alpine Village, where guests can nibble on snacks and sip cocoa in front of a bonfire.

Dade City is located in Central Florida, an area that hasn't seen snow in nearly 43 years. The arrival of the new park will mark the first time many locals can get a full winter experience close to home.

Snowcat Ridge is expected to open in November 2020.

[h/t WESH 2]

The New York Times's Latest Book on Travel Will Help You Plan the Perfect Weekend Getaway

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Getting a full sense of a new city while traveling can be tough—especially if you only have a weekend to explore it. But since 2002, The New York Times’s "36 Hours" column has been breaking down destinations all over the world into bite-size pieces, allowing travelers to see the big attractions while still experiencing the city like a local. Now, you can get the best of the column's North American destinations with the fully updated and revised edition of 36 Hours: USA & Canada for $40 at TASCHEN or on Amazon.

Even if you have the original, it’s worth purchasing this updated copy, as this version features 33 new itineraries from Anchorage, Alaska; the Berkshires in Massachusetts; Boulder, Colorado; Miami; Oakland, California; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and many more.

36 Hours: USA & Canda from the New York Times
TASCHEN

The 752-page book also offers more than 5400 hours of travel itineraries, 600 restaurants to dine at, and 450 hotel options. Each city featured includes a brief history, a list of popular destinations, and tips on how to experience it all like a local. For example, the New Orleans guide encourages travelers to start at the French 75 Bar for happy hour and order a Sazerac, a cocktail close to an Old-Fashioned that's a local favorite. Whereas the Miami guide takes you to the Buena Vista Deli, a bistro known for its take on classic French dishes. The travel book also features detailed city maps that pinpoint all the stops, and it's accompanied by nearly 1000 photographs.

Once you've picked your destination, check out some tips on how to craft the perfect itinerary.

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