There’s an unlikely passenger popping up on Thai flights, and airlines are sorting out the right strategy to accommodate this particular brand of customer. After all, it’s not easy figuring out rules for how a doll should fly the friendly skies. What’s that? Oh yeah, Thailand’s super into a special stock of dolls now.
Thailand, a country dealing with economic struggles and the aura of political precariousness, has been going buckwild for a type of doll that is believed to be good luck. Luk thep dolls (or “child angel” dolls, if you prefer) are an eerily human assortment of doll that have been blessed by Buddhist monks to have a wandering benevolent spirit enter it. Many owners of these dolls treat them with the utmost of care and bring them places you might not expect. Like on airplanes. That’s the unlikely spot that Thai Smile Airways has found itself in. They’ve adapted their policies to accommodate this influx of doll passengers with the doll owners footing the bill.
Customers using the airline have been presented with the option of buying their luk thep doll a seat. If the customer purchases a ticket for their traveling companion, it’s expected that their doll will comply with safety regulations. Not willing to pony up or keep your doll under control? They’ll spend the flight as carry-on baggage. If the feature-length documentary Bride of Chucky has taught us anything, it’s that dolls sometimes have a reputation for unruly behavior, so it’s sensible to include that safety rule.
Complicating matters for luk thep doll owners and the airlines that want to send them through the air are worries that the doll might facilitate drug smuggling. On Tuesday, police nabbed a doll that was filled with 200 methamphetamine pills and possibly a spirit. It’s incidents like this that has the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand aiming to curb the purchase of tickets for the dolls.
(via Death and Taxes)