Well, at least you wouldn't have to make awkward small talk with them
At a time when the world seems like a strange place, take solace for a moment by looking at a lease of hawks enjoying life at 30,000ft.
As shared on Reddit by user Lensoo, the image shows a large group of birds on a Middle Eastern flight, each with their own seat, and everybody looking perfectly okay with it all.
“My captain friend sent me this photo,” the Reddit post reveals. “Saudi prince bought [tickets] for his 80 hawks.”
One response on the Reddit thread revealed that transporting hawks on planes in the wealthier Gulf states is not uncommon, and pointed to another viral photo that appeared online a few years ago – though the birds were travelling in slightly less style on that occasion.
“If you fly Etihad or Emirate or Qatar enough, you will eventually see someone flying in first class with a falcon sitting next to them.”
It transpires that falconry has long been a popular pursuit in the Persian Gulf, so much so that Business Insider reported in 2013 that in the UAE, Etihad Airways has published its policies concerning travelling with birds of prey on its website:
“We accept the carriage of falcons in the main aircraft cabin provided that all the necessary documents have been obtained. We also accept falcons as checked baggage.”
Much like dogs in the European Union, falcons can travel on their own passports to and from the United Arab Emirates, with government officials having issued more than 28,000 passports between 2002 and 2013.