People on a flight recently found themselves travelling with some unexpected co-passengers: three majestic falcons. A video that has gone viral online with over 2-million views on Twitter shows two men boarding a plane with the birds perched on their arms.
"Folks two dudes just boarded my plane with emotional support falcons," Twitter user 'DonnieDoesWorld' wrote in his Twitter post, sharing the video.
The video caught the attention of social media users, who were both delighted and puzzled by the birds on the plane.
Folks two dudes just boarded my plane with emotional support falcons pic.twitter.com/lHABg8A7La— The Tajikistahn Dahn (@DonnieDoesWorld) March 29, 2019
However, as many people in the comments section pointed out, flying with falcons is not as unusual as it seems at first glance. The practice is quite common in the Middle East, where falcons are used for hunting.
"Falconry is a sign of wealth in many parts of the world," explained one Twitter user. "Falcons are allowed to travel with the owners in the cabin. It's nothing new...we see it all the time here in the Gulf," another added.
"They are def not emotional support animals but used for hunting. They are so expensive could be sold for up to 800,000 USD. They probably didn't want to leave them in the cargo bins," a third elaborated.
In fact, many airlines even have specific rules for the handling of these expensive birds.
"We accept the carriage of falcons in the main aircraft cabin provided that all the necessary documents have been obtained. We also accept falcons as checked baggage," says the Etihad Airways official website.
Qatar Airways, meanwhile, allows passengers to carry one falcon in economy class, with a maximum of six falcons in any one economy class cabin of a flight.
In 2017, a picture that went viral online showed a flight full of 80 falcons. The flight had reportedly been booked by a Saudi Arabian prince exclusively for his prized birds of prey.Click for more trending news