The student said that an airline employee advised that her only options were to flush the animal down the toilet or let it loose outside, despite being assured in advance the hamster could fly with her. But when the 21-year-old arrived at Baltimore-Washington International airport for her November 21 flight, she was told Pebbles was not welcome.
She insists that a Spirit employee suggested that she flush Pebbles down the toilet, which Spirit denies.
Aldecosea said she emailed the airline after the incident and was offered a voucher for a free flight but she declined. She flushed the hamster down the toilet.
Ms Aldecosea said she unsuccessfully tried renting a vehicle to take Pebbles back to her university accommodation, and that any friends who could have come to pick her up were several hours away. I was emotional. I was crying. "I sat there for a good ten minutes crying in the stall".
Now, Aldecosea may sue Spirit over what she claimed to be misleading information from company representatives that led to this emotionally devastating decision.
"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", said a spokesman. According to the Herald's report, further delays on her trip home were not advisable because of a medical problem. The woman, Belen Aldecosea, claims the hamster was a certified emotional-support animal.
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Okay, this is clearly traumatic for her and and a colossal stuff-up on the part of the airline, but I have questions.
"This wasn't a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers", said Aldecosea's lawyer, Adam Goodman, referring to a widely circulated video showing an "emotional support" peacock at a USA airport. "She's only 21 years old, a kid still".
In any case, the aircrafts choose if the creatures are permitted on board and most transporters, while they will permit more run of the mill enthusiastic help creatures, for example, mutts and felines, won't permit rodents over wellbeing and security concerns. "This must have been a horrific, terrifying death".
She says on the two events she was guaranteed her textured sidekick was fine to fly. "It was a terrible situation, and she's still distraught".
Despite a doctor's letter certifying the rodent as a comfort animal, a Spirit Airlines employee chased Aldecosea to the gate, screaming rodents were not allowed on board.
"A hamster is the most innocuous animal". Dexter survived the dispute with airline staff and was driven to his destination in Los Angeles the following day. The peacock was rejected under the airline's previous policy for health and safety reasons.