Exploring the Weird and Wonderful Eccentricities of the Aviation World
The world of civil aviation can be quite weird. For starters, do you know that you can take your favorite falcon onboard an Etihad Airways flight? It may sound totally outrageous, but it’s true. Likewise, each country has its own set of bizarre norms, customs, values, cultures, and laws pertaining to aviation and airlines. You might be surprised to find what qualifies as acceptable luggage to take on an aircraft and what doesn’t. Without further ado, here are some of the weird and wonderful eccentricities of aviation across the globe. Fasten your seatbelts.
Let’s put it out there - yes, we mean the falcon, as in the fearsome bird of prey. The sheer fact falcon is the national animal of Abu Dhabi, the Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi’s primary civic airlines) offers no qualms if you wish to carry these guys onboard. All you need, however, is to keep all the necessary documents handy and keep the protective gear on the bird at all times.
Ferrets and Squirrels
Japan Airlines could easily be the most accommodating civic aviation services in the world. Reason? While most other airlines allow passengers to check-in dogs and cats, in Japan this envelope extends to cover a number of other exotic animal species. You can check-in small birds (who consume seeds, insects, and fruit), ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, squirrels, marmots, and even chinchillas. But wait - they won’t accept cats or dogs aging less than eight weeks or even French bulldogs (what’s the matter with them - French bulldogs are adorable.)
Ice skates and Knitting Needles
While in the United States, you’re not allowed to take any weapons, especially knives aboard a flight, there is no restriction on carrying carry-on items such as knitting needles, whips, ice skates, and chains. Accordingly, you might have to check-in any firearms and ammunition but you can easily put knitting needles in your carry bag and board the flight. As if the country’s Transportation Security Administration doesn’t find knitting needles scary!
The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in the United States was one of the main reasons why airlines across the world placed a ban on metallic knives, forks, scissors, and all other similar carry-on items. In Australia, however, there is a small anomaly. While you can carry plastic forks and knives (albeit with round or square handles/tines) on flights in Australia, you can also get scissors on board. How did this happen? According to the government officials, scissors are fine as long as their blades don’t exceed six centimeters in length and have rounded or blunt ends. But wait, you will still have to convince the airport security why you want scissors on board!
If you thought Falcons were the most bizarre item you can carry aboard airlines, prepare to be humbled. While falcons are outright daunting and dangerous (even with their protective gear) this next item is actually quite harmless, yet you can’t have it in your carry bag. Onboard Finnair, you are only allowed to check-in Christmas crackers on flights that are outbound of the UK. Why? The reasons are probably economical - the crackers need to be in their original packing, commercially made, and intended for personal use only. Furthermore, you can only take two boxes of Christmas cracker; therefore, no use getting greedy on the Christmas spirit.