An US airline has denied claims they made a university student flush her “emotional support” pet hamster down the loo, after reportedly banning the critter from boarding a flight.
Belen Aldecosea told the Miami Herald her dwarf hamster Pebbles met an untimely death after Spirit Air crew allegedly refused passage from Baltimore.
“She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Aldecosea said.
“I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.”
The 21-year-old is now reportedly considering legal action over what she claims is conflicting instructions from the airline around permission to take the late Pebbles on board in the first place.
Spirit Airlines spokesperson Derek Dombrowski confirmed the airline mistakenly told Aldecosea that she originally could bring the hamster on board, but denies ever recommending disposal of the animal in the airport toilet.
“To be clear, at no point did any of our agents suggest this guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal,” he said.
It comes as an emotional support peacock named Dexter was refused entry on another US flight earlier this month.
The pet owner reportedly brought her extravagant bird to the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, where it was filmed by confused (or perhaps delighted) fellow commuters.