Earlier this week, a Thai airline made international news by allowing passengers to pay child ticket rates for trendy “child angel” dolls and telling its staff to treat these supposedly supernatural dolls like real passengers. But the country’s aviation authority is not pleased.
AFP reports that the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is advising airlines in the country that no, these pricey, life-size Look Thep dolls are not passengers — regardless of claims that they have undergone a “spiritualization” process — and are to be treated like any other carry-on item.
The dolls, explains CAAT are “non-human beings that cannot be considered passengers.” As such, they are “must be stored inside overhead lockers or underneath the seat.”
Thai Smile Airways recently explained its policy change by saying that travelers carrying Look Thep dolls had become upset when cabin crew tried to stow the dolls with carry on items. Some passengers insisted on holding the dolls on their laps during takeoff and landings, which the airline felt was a potential safety hazard.
The dolls have soared in popularity in Thailand over the last year after some celebrities claimed that the Look Thep had brought them good luck.