This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Tuesday night’s Frontier Airlines Flight 1612 from Orlando to Cleveland nearly had an unauthorized passenger on board.

The flight was delayed for about two hours after an¬†unidentified woman’s pre-approved emotional support animal turned out to be a squirrel, not a dog or a cat.

Airline personnel ended up having to call the Orlando airport police for assistance after the woman refused to deplane. All of the passengers were also required to exit the aircraft, and the woman was sent away from the gate in a wheelchair. Bystander video shows the woman giving the middle finger to fellow travelers and telling them to “shut up.”

https://twitter.com/julia_papesch/status/1049820969060261888

Frontier Airlines is one of numerous carriers that only allows cats and dogs on board. Furthermore, Frontier also bans rodents ‚ÄĒ including squirrels ‚ÄĒ on its planes.

Frontier Airlines stated that the passenger did note in her reservation that she had an emotional support animal to declare, but did not indicate that it was a squirrel. “On Flight 1612 from Orlando to Cleveland yesterday evening, a passenger boarded the aircraft with a squirrel saying it was an emotional support animal,” a Frontier spokesperson said. “The passenger noted in their reservation that they were bringing an emotional support animal but it was not indicated that it was a squirrel. Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights.”

The TSA stated that the animal was screened per standard protocol, and that individual airlines have final say over which animals they permit on board. “The TSA will screen animals brought to a checkpoint if it does not pose a danger to our officers,” the TSA said in a statement. “The squirrel was screened the same way someone‚Äôs cat would be screened.¬† The container was sent through the X-ray machine while the passenger carried the squirrel through the walk-through metal detector.¬† In this way we could be sure that there were no explosives or other prohibited items hidden inside the container.¬† Once the TSA determines that an animal and its carrying case do not pose a threat to the aviation system, then it is up to the airline to determine if the animal may fly or not.”

2018 may likely go down in commercial aviation history as the Year of Emotional Support Animal Fiascos. Earlier this year, United Airlines banned a peacock from boarding a Newark flight, while Pebbles the Hamster became a flushed fatality after an airline-passenger misunderstanding. In response, several carriers quickly implemented stricter policies around emotional support animals, including breed restrictions and size requirements.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The American Express¬ģ Business Platinum Card

The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards¬ģ points as well as a slew of other valuable benefits like lounge access, hotel elite status and a digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times for Primary and Platinum Supplementary Cardmembers.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend ¬£6k in your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Up to 99 free Supplementary Cards - one complimentary Platinum Employee Cards and 98 Complimentary Gold Employee Cards
  • Global Lounge Collection - Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including The Centurion¬ģ Lounges and membership of Priority Pass‚ĄĘ
  • Hotel Status at Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy‚ĄĘ, Meli√° Hotels International, Radisson Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts ‚Äď enjoy benefits such as complimentary upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, enhanced loyalty points, complimentary Wi-Fi and more
  • The Times and¬†The¬†Sunday Times annual digital subscription (¬£312 value¬†per Card) ‚Ästavailable for Primary and all Supplementary Cardmembers
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts ‚Äď Enjoy a collection of over 1,000 hand-selected iconic 5-star properties worldwide. Receive complimentary benefits worth an average total value of ¬£400 per stay.*
  • ¬£150 statement credit for every booking with onefinestay (unlimited use)
  • Dedicated Account Management Team
Annual Fee
£595
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.