At least she had the courtesy to ask …
Before getting on a flight last week, actress Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter to inquire if she could carry on with her what appeared to be an emotional-support meal.
“If I don’t have a carry-on, can I bring a large ceramic casserole dish of scalloped potatoes on the plane? I am not kidding, is this okay? Is it too blunt/heavy an object? I’ll cry if they throw it away,” Teigen posted on Twitter recently.
In all fairness, Teigen’s ceramic casserole dish request pales in comparison to some of the more outrageous items passengers have felt entitled to bring on airplanes for so-called emotional support.
Not surprisingly, people have pushed the limits (and our patience, too) of what’s acceptable to carry on during air travel — with turkeys, snakes, possums, and even a now-infamous peacock named Dexter. Said peacock’s eccentric owner, an artist, was stopped from boarding a United Airlines flight recently for violating company guidelines — despite being told ahead of time.
Now, to the relief of many passengers, airlines are cracking down with tighter policies, thankfully.
Beginning March 1, 2018, “United will require additional documentation for customers traveling with emotional support animal or a psychiatric service animal. In addition to providing a letter from a licensed medical/mental health professional, customers will need to provide a veterinary health form documenting the health and vaccination records for the animal as well as confirming that the animal has been trained to behave properly in a public setting. This change only applies to emotional support and psychiatric service animals,” reads a section on the company’s website pertaining to service animals.
Delta Airlines also amended its policy guidelines recently, noting “that Delta employees reported increased acts [of] barking, growling, lunging and biting from service and support animals, behavior not typically seen in these animals when properly trained and working,” according to a report by NBC News.
A sense of entitlement on airplanes, though, is not limited to owners and their pets.
An audacious young woman wearing leggings and headphones was caught on video recently performing a yoga routine in an aisle midflight — utterly oblivious to those around her, despite the potential to inconvenience others.
To be sure, a sense of entitlement is more and more pervading our culture.
“Entitlement is an enduring personality trait, characterized by the belief that one deserves preferences and resources that others do not,” wrote Jane Adams, Ph.D, in a recent article for Psychology Today. “When people feel entitled, they want to be different from others. But just as frequently they come across as indifferent to others. That’s why they often provoke such negative responses in those they encounter, especially those they don’t personally know.”
On the day before Teigen’s silly request on Feb. 23, 2018, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed entitled “How to Raise More Grateful Children.”
The subhead read: “A sense of entitlement is a big problem among young people today, but it’s possible to teach gratitude.”
The article explains that when teenagers regularly express gratitude, it’s a sign they are thriving.
And though it may be too late for celebrities like Teigen to curb their hearts’ desires, for parents, the time is always right to impart a sense of gratitude to their children — which could ultimately serve as an antidote to entitlement.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.