Liberty woman on board flight with emotional support squirrel that went viral

Daniel Fowler
October 14, 2018

The flyer told the USA -based airline before she arrived at the airport that she would be bringing the animal but when they realised it was a squirrel they refused to let her on the plane. The story sparked debate over what types of animals should be allowed aboard commercial planes, as well as suggestions that some passengers might be abusing the system.

The passenger kicked off a plane because her emotional support squirrel is none too pleased with the airline and the fellow passengers who cheered as she was escorted off the plane by police. "Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights".

The woman from Florida boarded a domestic Frontier Airlines flight in Orlando, carrying her emotional support squirrel in a cat carrier.

"We need to balance off the need for the airline to protect their passengers at large and set some limits, versus the need of the individual flier", said Covelman.

The crew asked the woman to get off the plane but she allegedly refused, which is when Orlando Police were called in to remove her from the flight.

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Because it is only partially shredded, "it becomes something else, egged on by the social media buzz" and acquires the aura of "an iconic work of art", he said.

When they boarded the flight, Hartsfield said that's when the airline noticed the squirrel. They can, of course, be carried in the cargo hold, ' and does not mention other animals.

The incident has resulted in airlines modifying their policy towards what kind of animals constitute as a viable pet for "emotional support'".

In the end the flight was delayed for two hours.

"It was emotional", she told Inside Edition as she fought back tears. But Schaper quotes United as saying it has seen a 75 percent year-over-year increase in the number of customers bringing emotional support animals onboard. Exotic animal exploits aside, NPR's David Schaper reported, emotional support animals can address very real problems as some passengers "with severe anxiety, phobias, PTSD or other disabilities cannot travel without them". "The airline also has experienced a significant increase in onboard incidents involving these animals, including biting, aggression, urination, defecation, allergic reactions, conflict and other disruptions", he reports.

Police removed the woman from the plane.

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