An unexpected passenger caused an unforeseen delay last week. In a flight from Orlando to Cleveland, an emotional support animal had to be offboarded since, according to corporate guidelines, his species and order are not allowed on aircraft. The culprit of the disruption: an emotional support squirrel. As it turns out, rodents are strictly prohibited on Frontier flights.
Unfortunately for the passenger and her squirrel companion, the crew decided to ask her to go back to the gate. When she refused, police had to get involved. The passenger had to be escorted back to the terminal by officers. Most airlines have re-drafted their emotional support animal guidelines in recent times. All due to the fact that passengers often fail to comply with their requests to inform them when they wish to bring an exotic animal on the flight. Recently, most airlines have defined that emotional support animals will only be allowed if they are either a cat or a dog. Even if the airline you’re travelling with has not banned emotional support animals altogether, you still need to provide proof that a physician has determined that your pet should be considered an emotional support animal.
This incident joins two others in recent memory: Dexter the emotional support peacock, who was also denied service, and Pebbles the unfortunate hamster who ended up being flushed away after Spirit Airlines refused to let the rodent board the plane.
Compensation for denied boarding?
Unfortunately, local flights in the US are not covered by Regulation EC 261/2004 and said regulation only protects human passengers’ rights. Therefore, we cannot claim any compensation for our furry friend from this story. Nonetheless, if you were travelling from the United States of America to Europe, you were flying with a European airline and your flight was delayed or cancelled; you may be entitled to compensation of up to £535 per passenger. Claim your compensation with Flight-Delayed and you can rest assured that the airline won’t get away with not paying you the compensation you’re legally entitled to.