USA student says airline pressured her to flush hamster down toilet

USA student says airline pressured her to flush hamster down toilet

She says Spirit staffers told her before her trip that she could bring her pet and later refused to let the animal on her flight at Baltimore Washington International Airport in November of previous year.

Spirit acknowledged that the airline had mistakenly told Aldecosea that Pebbles could accompany her on her November 21 flight but denied anyone from the airline suggested disposing of Pebbles in the toilet.

Aldecosea, under pressure of a medical condition to get home and unsuccessful in her efforts to rent a vehicle, claims that a Spirit representative at that point suggested that she either flush Pebbles down a toilet in the airport restroom or free the rodent outside the terminal.

A United States student is considering suing Spirit Airlines after she followed through on an alleged recommendation to flush her pet hamster down an airport toilet. Aldecosea and Pebbles were allowed to check in for their flight without a hitch (emotional support animals are technically allowed to fly at the discretion of the airline in question).

The university student said she agonised for hours, Spirit Airlines booked her on a later flight while she decided what to do, and considered renting a vehicle to drive back to Miami.

"One of the representatives started giving me little tips like, 'Oh you should just leave her, or flush her down the toilet, '" Aldecosea said.

Under America's Air Carrier Access Act, certain emotional support animals are allowed to travel with their owners on flights, as long as the pet has the right documentation, isn't a threat and doesn't interfere with others.

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Spirit denies that a Spirit employee advised her to either set her hamster loose or flush it. In January, an emotional support peacock named Dexter was barred from travelling on a United Airlines flight, despite having been bought its own ticket.

Why the sudden act of animal cruelty towards an animal she specifically brought to the airport for its emotional significance? "I sat there for a decent 10 minutes crying in the slow down".

However, the airline strenuously denies that its employees played any part in encouraging Pebbles' untimely death. She chose the latter, telling the Miami Herald that it would be more humane to kill Pebbles immediately rather than letting her freeze outside or get hit by a vehicle. The airline reportedly told her it was no problem on the phone, but upon her arrival at the gate at the Baltimore airport, the staff seemed to be singing a different tune.

When asked about flushing her beloved pet, Aldecosea said she made the more humane choice.

Aldecosea's lawyer, Adam Goodman, sees the cases very differently however.

Aldecosa's attorney told the Miami Herald the hamster could fit in the palm of the pet owner's hand.

"Hamsters are welcome in our checkpoint", TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz told the newspaper.

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