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Police Escort Woman, 'Emotional Support Squirrel' Off Frontier Airlines Flight

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 10/10/2018 Patrick Clarke
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Frontier Airlines removed a woman and her emotional support squirrel from a flight in Orlando Tuesday night.

According to FOX 8 Cleveland, the passenger had to be escorted off of the plane by law enforcement.

Frontier confirmed the woman noted in her reservation that she would be traveling with an emotional support animal but did not specify that it was a squirrel.

The Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier doesn't allow rodents, including squirrels on its flights. Frontier said it explained its policy to the woman but she still refused to get off the plane, prompting employees to contact Orlando police and deplane passengers so the woman could be removed.

According to flight-tracking website, Frontier Airlines Flight 1612 from Orlando to Cleveland departed two hours behind schedule, reaching its final destination just before midnight.

Beginning next month, Frontier will only allow passengers to travel with emotional support dogs and cats. Other major carriers have also announced similar policy changes in recent months as the list of what travelers claim to be emotional support animals gets longer and seemingly more outrageous.

For example, United Airlines refused to let a woman board a flight with her emotional support peacock earlier this year.

Tuesday's incident comes less than one month after the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) revealed troubling survey results regarding the behavior of emotional support animals on planes.

Sixty-one percent of nearly 5,000 flight attendants across 30 airlines reported working a flight where an emotional support animal caused a disruption in the cabin. More than half of those reported incidents included aggressive or threatening behavior by the animal.

"The rampant abuse of claiming a need for emotional support animals in air travel is negatively impacting all passengers. It's a safety, health, and security issue," said AFA president Sara Nelson in a statement.

The union has urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop common sense and consistent standards for airlines to follow in regards to non-trained service animals.


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