A Reddit user who goes by lensoo posted this bizarre picture that his friend, a flight captain, sent to him. Turns out it was a Saudi Prince who purchased 80 flight tickets for his falcons, well, because he can.

These falcons come with their own helmet-like hood.  Banner and Image Source:  lensoo 


As bizarre as that may seem (to the non-Middle Eastern eye), it’s not unusual to see birds that double up as co-passengers in the Middle East.


According to Gizmodo, another Reddit commenter had pointed out that, “If you fly Etihad or Emirates or Qatar enough you will eventually see someone flying in first class with a falcon sitting next to them."

Rates for transporting falcons in Economy Class cabin on Qatar Airways.  (Source: http://www.qatarairways.com/)

Lufthansa, too, has joined the falcons are welcome aboard policy, according to Daily Mail  

These falcons are permitted by these airlines as “checked in” provided all the necessary paperwork are in place. Also, there are falcon passports (adorbs) that the UAE government had issued between 2002 and 2013 reports Gizmodo.  Interesting enough, the falcon passport system has been around since 2002. It was introduced by the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) to combat falcon smuggling.”


Unfortunately, there's no word as to where these birds of prey were flying to or from. Much less, if they had their seat belts on during take off and landing, or what they thought of the in-flight food and entertainment services.