(CNN)Have you ever boarded a flight dreading who might be your neighbor for the next few hours?
Maybe they’ll snore, or encroach on your personal space, or perhaps it’ll be a screaming baby.
Passengers flying on Qatar, Emirates, Etihad or Royal Jordanian Airlines, however, have a unique type of neighbor to worry about — the pet falcon.
On these Middle Eastern airlines, the birds — which have their own passports — are permitted to fly, most often perching on their owners’ arms.
In the Middle East, falcons are the ultimate status symbol.
And it’s become routine for some falcon owners to have their birds join them, un-caged, aboard flights — no matter if they’re traveling in first class or economy.
This week, a photograph of a cabin full of the treasured birds went viral on social media.
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