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As passengers continue to test the limits of what qualifies as an emotional support animal (ESA) aboard a plane, Popeyes — a Louisiana based fast-casual fried chicken eatery — has offered a loophole that’s a surefire way to get around those new regulations and policies. Well, sort of.

Introducing the ‘Emotional Support Chicken.’ Exclusive to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Popeye’s newest limited-time holiday promotion is offering customers a combo meal of three chicken tenders, fries and a biscuit for $8.49 all in a chicken-shaped paper box, that reads — you guessed it — emotional support chicken. 

emotional support chicken | Popeyes
emotional support chicken | Popeyes
The promotion is launching Tuesday, Dec. 18, which so happens to be the same day Delta Air Lines’ flight-ban of ESAs under four months of age officially begins. Intentional? Maybe. But, hey, at least those who had to leave their puppies at home have a three-piece chicken tender combo meal to provide some comfort en route to their holiday destination. 
Delta and other airlines such as American, Spirit, Southwest and more have been cracking down on emotional support animals since the start of 2018, which doesn’t come as a surprise, considering 61% of flight attendants reported onboard emotional support animals have caused some sort of in-flight disturbance in a survey.
As for the promotion, Popeyes sees it as “a gesture designed to bring holiday travelers some needed humor.” Hope Diaz, chief marketing officer of Popeyes, said to Yahoo Finance. “We hope to bring travelers a good laugh and a hot meal to ease the stress of holiday travel.”
Featured image by Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post.
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