Woman defiant after removal from plane over ‘emotional support’ squirrel
A flight from Florida to Ohio was delayed nearly two hours on Tuesday after a woman tried to fly with her emotional support squirrel.
The Frontier Airlines flight, which left nearly two hours later than scheduled, was heading from Orlando to Cleveland, according to WKYC.
When she arrived for Flight 1612, the unidentified woman revealed that the support animal she had cleared ahead of time was actually a squirrel, which is not allowed on the airline, Fox8 reported.
Frontier Airlines only allows cats and dogs on its flights, as noted on ESADoctors.com, a site that provides information on where certain emotional support animals are allowed. The airline also specifies that it does not permit rodents on flights, meaning squirrels are a no-go.
But in a statement to Fox8, the airline said it had to call police to remove the woman from the flight because she refused to leave. She had been told that the squirrel violated the airlines policy, Fox8 reported.
A video posted by a man named Brandon Nixon on Twitter appears to show the woman getting kicked off the flight.
“So im flying back to cleveland and everyone got on the plane then was asked to exit the plane,” he wrote. “Only to later find out a woman brought a squirrel in her carry on and labeled it as her emotional support pet. Then refuses to get off the plane until the cops come”
As she is wheeled away in a wheelchair, the woman tells onlookers to “shut up” before raising her middle finger, the video shows. A few people begin to applaud as she is taken away from the flight, the video shows, and she gives a thumbs-up as she says, “Thank you!”
“You can’t make this stuff up,” Nixon wrote.
Another Twitter user named Julia Papesch posted a pair of videos showing the same woman getting kicked off the flight.
She wrote that “they made us deplane because a woman brought on a f----- squirrel.”
And Amber Calhoun, a passenger on the plane, told News5 that some people on the flight tried to find humor in the situation.
“The joke of the plane was hashtag squirrel so you’ll probably see it all over social media,” she said, according to the outlet.
In January, a woman wasn’t allowed to board a United flight leaving Newark, New Jersey, because she tried to bring a much bigger emotional support animal — a peacock.
“This animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size,” United said in a statement. “We explained this to the customers on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport.”