Monday, 10 December, 2018

Student allegedly flushes emotional support hamster, then blames airline

Spirit Airlines admits to giving Aldecosea conflicting information about whether her pet hamster could fly but strongly denies any employee suggested she flush the hamster down a toilet Student allegedly flushes emotional support hamster, then blames airline
Nellie Chapman | 09 February, 2018, 01:58

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 said she spent hours scrambling to find another way to get home, including trying to rent a auto.

The airline allegedly gave her the thumbs up several days before the flight, but when Aldecosea finally arrived at the airport on November 21 she says she was then told the animal could not board with her.

Aldecosea told the Herald that, out of options and with her flight boarding soon, she considered just letting Pebbles free but felt it was more humane to flush the animal than let it run around in the cold, only to get hit by a auto.

"She was scared. I was scared". 'I was passionate. I was crying.

She told the newspaper she cried in a restroom stall for 10 minutes after feeling that she had no choice but to flush Pebbles.

She said she's considering suing Spirit over the conflicting instructions that pressured her into making an anguished decision.

Hours away from campus and with no other options, Aldecosea did something she never thought she would have to do.

Now, the student has hired attorney Adam Goodman to fight the airline on behalf of Pebbles.

And as she considered it a more humane way of ending her life than letting her free outside, she did it.

That's when a Spirit employee allegedly told her she'd either have to set Pebbles free and have him freeze or starve to death, or flush him down the toilet.

So Aldecosea eventually flushed Pebbles - a support hamster she had gotten after a cancer scare the previous year.

Dwarf hamsters usually weigh less than two ounces - and the US Transportation Safety Administration has no rules against carry-on hamsters.

Guidance states: 'Hamsters are welcome in our checkpoint.

The growth was later determined to be benign, but still needed to be removed, which was why Aldecosea was going home to Florida.

Most major USA airlines, however, don't allow rodents on flights over concerns about health and safety. Aldecosea thought it would be inhumane to let the animal freeze outside and chose to flush her in an airport toilet, she told the Herald. Most don't allow rodents due to health and safety concerns.

The story of Pebble's tragic demise comes as people are still buzzing about another animal companion story that went viral. Aldecosea booked a flight from Baltimore's Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport back down to Fort Lauderdale.

"After researching this incident, we can say confidently that at no point did any of our agents suggest this Guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal", he said.

Pebbles is only the latest of the unusual emotional support animals used by people scared of flying, which are usually no weirder than just dogs and cats. I didn't have any other options.