A college student from Florida is considering legal action against Spirit Airlines, saying they advised her to flush a pet hamster down a toilet before boarding a plane.
Aldecosea said she called the airline twice to make sure her hamster would be allowed on her November 21 flight home from Baltimore to South Florida. 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).
A devastated student claims she was forced to flush her emotional support hamster down a toilet after airline staff refused to allow it on a flight.
Aldecosea said she spent hours scrambling to find another way to get home, including trying to rent a vehicle.
After rebooking her flight for a later one, and sitting for hours in the airport, Aldecosea said she finally made a decision to flush Pebbles.
Aldecosea said she pushed her flight back and even tried to rent a vehicle, but none were available.
She is now considering filing a lawsuit against Spirit, blaming them for allegedly pressuring her into killing the animal.
"Our records indicate the guest took that later flight with no further incident", Dombrowksi said. That's when she bought Pebbles for comfort. Aldecosea tried multiple times to get Pebbles back to her school safely.
Aldecosea needed to get home because of dealing with a medical issue, and her friends in college were hours away.
Belen Aldecosea claims she "didn't have some other alternatives" yet to kill her pet Pebbles instead of miss her flight back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November after staff educated her that rodents were not permitted on board.
Her attorney, Adam Goodman, said he has been inundated with calls since news of Pebble's untimely death broke.
"To be clear, at no point did any of our agents suggest this guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal", spokesman Derek Dombrowski said.
Most major U.S. airlines, however, don't allow rodents on flights over concerns about health and safety.
A dwarf hamster named Pebbles is the latest victim in the ongoing battle between airlines and passengers who want to travel with their "emotional support" animals. Most don't allow rodents due to health and safety concerns.
In recent weeks, airlines have tightened restrictions on animals allowed on flights after rising accounts of unusual emotional support animals, including a peacock and sheep.
As per the US Department of Transportation's arrangement concerning 'abnormal administration creatures, ' they ought to be assessed on a case-by-case premise, and aircrafts are asked to think about every creature's size, weight, state and outside nation limitations, and regardless of whether the creature would represent an immediate danger, or cause an interruption on a flight.