Airline Suggested Passenger Toilet Flush Emotional Support Hamster, Woman Claims

FILE A Spirit Airlines Airbus Industrie A320 takes off from Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach Fla. Friday Feb. 10 2017

Aldecosea was traveling home after a semester at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, the Miami Herald reported.

Belen Aldecosea, 21, of Miami Beach, Florida, told the Miami Herald that she contacted Spirit Airlines before her flight from Baltimore to South Florida on November 21, 2017, regarding traveling with her dwarf hamster, Pebbles.

A devastated student claims she was forced to flush her emotional support hamster down a toilet after airline staff refused to allow it on a flight.

Aldecosea took a later flight to deal with the issue, but she was told that Pebbles couldn't be taken into cargo and she didn't have any friends or family in Baltimore who could take her at a moment's notice.

Spirit Airlines spokesman Derek Dombrowski told Fox News that an employee misinformed Aldecosea that Pebbles was allowed on the flight but denied that an employee suggested she flush the rodent down the toilet.

The TSA notably will accommodate small animals like hamsters, but as the Herald pointed out, individual airlines are less lenient. There were also, according to Aldecosea, no rental cars or buses, and she spent hours trying to solve the problem.

So Aldecosea eventually flushed Pebbles - a support hamster she had gotten after a cancer scare the previous year.

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'This was a tiny cute harmless hamster that could fit in the palm of her hand'.

"[Pebbles] was scared. I was scared".

He told the Miami Herald: 'This wasn't a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers.

A Spirit representative denied the claim that an employee told Aldecosea to flush her hamster down the toilet. I was emotional. I was crying. "I sat there for a good ten minutes crying in the stall".

The U.S. Transport Safety Administration said hamsters were welcome through their security lanes.

But the decision whether or not to allow some animals and not others is a decision left, ultimately, up to the airlines. "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", senior vice president Daphna Nachminovitch told Life & Style exclusively.

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

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