Florida woman flushes pet hamster down airport toilet after being denied passage

Florida woman flushed emotional support hamster down toilet after airline banned it from boarding

A representative for Spirit Airlines denied that an employee said to flush the emotional support animal.

The 21-year-old Florida woman says she was compelled to do so because of Spirit Airlines, which she says verified twice on the phone that she'd be able to bring Pebbles on her November 21 flight from Baltimore to Fort Lauderdale.

Spirit Airlines denies that they recommended Aldecosea flush the animal, and told The Guardian that "it is incredibly disheartening to hear this guest reportedly made a decision to end her own pet's life". A spokesman for Spirit told the Herald that someone did give Aldecosea misinformation that the animal could go on the plane, but said no one told her to flush the hamster.

That's when things took a turn for Belen, 21, who claims that an airport employee suggested flushing the hamster down the toilet since she was hours away from campus and had no way to take Pebbles home.

Spirit Airlines, meanwhile, denies that any agent would suggest this option to Aldecosea, or any guest.

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. A Spirit Airlines spokesperson confirmed to Travel + Leisure that there was a miscommunication from the agents who spoke to Aldecosea, saying, "our reservation representative, unfortunately, did misinform the guest that a hamster was permitted to fly as an emotional support animal on Spirit Airlines".

Goodman tells TIME that he and Aldecosea are planning to sit down and "discuss the legal remedies available", including a possible lawsuit. The airline said yes, according to the Miami Herald.

Belen insists she checked vehicle hire and Greyhound bus options before killing Pebbles, and claimed flushing him was kinder than letting him free where he would freeze or be hit by a auto.


The Transportation Security Administration, meanwhile, has no issue with carry-on hamsters, a spokeswoman told the Miami Herald.

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. "This was a tiny cute harmless hamster that could fit in the palm of her hand", Goodman said.

Guidance states: 'Hamsters are welcome in our checkpoint.

The airline refused to allow Dexter to get on board the aircraft, despite the passenger going so far as buying the huge bird its own ticket for the flight. Most major carriers such as American, Delta and United, say no, citing concerns safety and health concerns.

Spirit offered her a voucher for a free flight to certain cities.

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

She flushed Pebbles down the toilet. "I didn't have any other options".

During her first semester at a school in Pennsylvania, Aldecosea developed a painful growth in her neck, leading to a cancer scare.

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