By: Keith Klein (Photo: David Williams)
The Transportation Department changed rules on animals on airlines. Only dogs can fly for free as service animals. Human companions some passengers claimed as emotional support don’t count.
Airlines argued passengers abused the situation bringing a menagerie of animals on board including cats, turtles, pot-bellied pigs, and, in one case, a peacock.
The agency said it rewrote the rules because of the increasing frequency of people “fraudulently representing their pets as service animals,” and a rise in misbehavior by support animals, ranging from urinating in the plane to biting other passengers.
The Paralyzed Veterans of America said the presence of a dog, cat, or rabbit helps travelers, and pet fees of up to $175 one-way are a hardship.
The new rule forces passengers with support animals to check them into the cargo hold — and pay a pet fee. Airlines will gain up to $59.6 million a year in pet fees. The rule takes effect in 30 days.
The Santa Claus holiday postmark is now available at the Santa Claus, Indiana post office. The famous small-town post office is the only one in the world with the Santa Claus name and receives over 400,000 pieces of mail in December.
The Post Office has offered the special postmark since 1983. It is designed by a local high school student. “Patrons from all over the world request the Santa Claus holiday postmark,” says Postmaster Cheryl Bailey.
Anyone interested in getting the special cancellation on their holiday mail should:
- Mail Christmas cards to the post office – with postage stamps already on them to Postmaster, P.O. Box 9998, Santa Claus, IN 47579-9998;
- You must request the picture postmark;
- There is no charge; however, there is a limit of 50 picture postmarks per person per day.
The 2020 postmark is available only in Santa Claus, Indiana, on working days from Dec. 1 – 24.
For more information about the 2020 Santa Claus Christmas Celebration and holiday packages, call (888) 444-9252
or visit SantaClausInd.org/Christmas.