Police had to escort a woman off of a Frontier Airlines flight on Tuesday because she brought an unlikely “emotional support” animal on board.
A representative for the airline tells PEOPLE that the passenger boarded a flight in Orlando that was bound for Cleveland, and brought along a squirrel as her emotional support animal. Although the airline says she did indicate she was traveling with an emotional support animal, she did not identify the type of animal.
Frontier told ABC13 that “rodents, including squirrels are not allowed” on any of their flights.
Once the airline realized she had brought a squirrel on board, they informed her of the policy and asked her to get off the plane, but she refused. Then, everyone was asked to deplane as Orlando police were called so they could handle the incident.
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Disgruntled passengers captured video footage of the incident, which ABC13 compiled.
“They made us deplane because a woman brought on a squirrel,” one person wrote. “Now the police just went on to remove her.”
Eventually, police removed the woman and escorted her to the main terminal. In one video, she can be seen being wheeled away in a chair by what appears to be an airport employee.
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Prior to this incident, on October 1st, Frontier announced a new policy for emotional support animals and trained service animals on board, which is set to go into effect on Nov. 1. The policy states that each passenger is allowed one support animal, and the animal must be a dog or cat and must be on a leash or in a carrier under the seat. Passengers seeking to travel with animals will also have to fill out two waivers at least 48 hours prior to departure.
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In January, United Airlines ruffled some feathers when they kicked an “emotional support” peacock off of a plane.
The debate over emotional support animals onboard sparked many airlines to overhaul their pet policies. In January, Delta began asking passengers to sign vouchers proving their dog can behave at least 48 hours ahead of travel, citing an 84-percent increase in animal-related incidents on planes since 2016.
In June, the airline banned pit-bull related service and emotional support dogs from their flights. In September, Southwest Airlines followed suit with a pet policy change, stating that only one emotional support animal per customer will be allowed on their flights, and the animal must be a cat or dog and remain in a carrier under the seat or on a leash held by the owner from boarding to deplaning.
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