Airline Told Me to Flush Support Hamster Down Toilet, Flier Says

Airline Told Me to Flush Support Hamster Down Toilet, Flier Says

Airline Told Me to Flush Support Hamster Down Toilet, Flier Says

Belen Aldecosea's account of what happened after she checked into her November flight from Baltimore to South Florida - which has gone viral on social media - comes as airlines have been struggling with policies regarding comfort animals onboard flights. 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).

Aldecosea says she acknowledged a later flight on Spirit to make sense of what to do with her hamster, and cases she reached six rental auto organizations to attempt and contract an auto, however says that each and every organization was out of autos.

In her account to the Herald, Aldecosea says tried everything imaginable, including renting a vehicle (she says there weren't any available) and reaching out to her friends (they were hours away back at school, she says).

Spirit Airlines spokesman Derek Dombrowski said Aldecosea was mistakenly told beforehand that she could bring the hamster on the flight but denied that any employee suggested she flush or injure the hamster in any way.

Spirit Airlines offered her a voucher for a free flight to some cities, but Aldecosea declined.

Aldecosea said she bought Pebbles after developing a painful growth in her neck.

Aldecosea, meanwhile, is now considering filing a lawsuit against the airline for pressuring her into making the decision, with her lawyer Adam Goodman claiming Pebbles was "a tiny cute harmless hamster that could fit in the palm of your hand". "Our records indicate the Guest took that later flight with no further incident".

She said the alternative would have been to set Pebbles free to roam the unsafe streets of Baltimore - where crime drama The Wire is set.

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Aldecosea says she accepted a later flight on Spirit to figure out what to do with her hamster, and claims she contacted six rental vehicle agencies to try and hire a auto, but says that every single company was out of cars. Finally, she decided the best option would be to flush Pebbles down the toilet.

Aldecosea exchanged her ticket for a later flight to buy herself some time and come up with a plan.

"One of the representatives started giving me little tips like, 'Oh you should just leave her, or flush her down the toilet, '" Aldecosea said.

Her doctor certified the dwarf hamster as an emotional-support animal, she said.

"Flushing a living being down a toilet is not only cruel but also illegal, and both the person who killed this animal and Spirit Airlines-if an employee did, in fact, advise the woman to drown the hamster-should be charged".

"Hamsters are welcome in our checkpoint", TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz told the newspaper.

"Rodents of any kind are not allowed on board for health and safety reasons".

In recent days, airlines have put strict rules in place regarding "emotional support" animals.

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