A Saudi Prince has reportedly bought a plane seat for every one of his 80 falcons. And apparently it's a totally legitimate thing to do.
Thanks to the internet there is some great photos of what quite understandably has surprised passengers, staff and well, the world at large.
Although it's a pretty odd sight, it's not an uncommon thing to see falcons on planes in the United Arab Emirates. Etihad and Qatar actually have official falcon policies.
"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," Etihad says in its baggage policy.
For most airlines, there seems to be a one falcon per person rule in economy class. It looks like this elusive Saudi Prince went ahead and booked a seat for each of his birds.
"1 falcon per guest (per seat) is permitted. Charge for one falcon (which is considered 6.6 lb/ 3 kg) is 3 times the normal excess baggage rate of the journey," Business Insider reported about Etihad's falcon policy.
"1 additional falcon can be carried when an extra seat is purchased within same class. No excess baggage charges for the additional falcon will apply."
It's been determined that this couldn't have been a Qatar flight because they have a maximum of six falcons allowed within their Economy Class. Not 80.
"You are permitted to carry one falcon on board the Economy Class passenger cabin of an aircraft, and a maximum of six falcons are permitted within the Economy Class cabin of an aircraft," Qatar's website explains.
What's even weirder is that falcons have their own passports in the United Arab Emirates. They were brought in to help combat smuggling.
"In the Emirates, falcons get issued their very own forest green passports. The unusual documentation scheme is due to the fact that, in the U.A.E, falcons are highly prized and therefore attractive to smugglers," Atlas Obscura reports.
"Each passport corresponds to a particular falcon. That falcon must also be fitted with a leg ring inscribed with an identity number that ends up on the passport."
So yes, that's 80 falcons with 80 passports flying economy because the world is weird and wonderful.
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