Delta bars veteran from carrying on emotional support flamethrower

CHICAGO — A military veteran received a sick burn this week after an airline refused to allow him to board a flight with his emotional support flamethrower, sources confirmed today.

Marine veteran Eli Burroughs claims his pet flamethrower, named Smaug, helps him cope with all the other service animals and icky snowflakes that have begun to take up space on airlines recently. All the snakes, reptiles, ferrets, spiders, and Komodo Dragons other passengers claim for emotional support cause him an overwhelming amount of anxiety, he says.

“It’s like Noah’s Ark on flights now days, and it smells like an unwashed kennel,” said Burroughs. “The only thing you can smell on old Smaug here is the napalm, and that smells like victory.”

The incident comes as airlines are increasingly fired up over policy changes regarding emotional support and service. Carriers and passengers most recently have endured an outbreak of fleas and ticks, bubonic plague, and a tragic in-flight incident involving a 15-foot crocodile and a pack of therapeutic howler monkeys.

“Mr. Burroughs’ flamethrower did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, not to mention he couldn’t fit it in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of him,” said Delta Airlines spokeswoman Hillary Andrews.

But Andrews says Smaug couldn’t be placed with checked baggage, since the battery which provides a spark to ignite the fuel could cause a lithium-ion battery fire in the cargo.

“Commercial passengers have a number of safety options available prior to boarding their flight,” said Andrews. “We recommend they remain up to date on their rabies vaccinations and consider a Front Line treatment as a prophylactic measure.”

Burroughs claims it’s not just all about him. He's considering the emotional security of his fellow passengers as well. Whenever he travels with Smaug, he’s able to enjoy a safe space over 80 meters in diameter.

“When the zombies come, you’ll find a flamethrower to be very emotionally soothing,” he said. “You’ll be thanking me for the chainsaw bayonet attachment too.”

At press time, Burroughs was considering joining an emotionally supportive outlaw motorcycle gang and driving himself and Smaug to their final destination.