American Airlines apologizes after removing disabled boy’s family and service dog from flight
(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
American Airlines has issued an apology after it kicked off a disabled boy’s family and their service dog because they said there wasn’t enough room on the plane for the pooch.
According to several reports, Amy Jo Weasel was already on board her flight from Charlotte, N.C., to her home in Evansville, Ind., on U.S. Thanksgiving Day when the flight attendant asked her to move from her assigned seat because of the dog. But as Weasel told Fox Charlotte, the attended didn’t stop there.
"You could tell right away from her demeanor, her attitude, and her body language that she did not like animals," Weasel told the news channel. The attendant also asked her to put the service dog under her seat.
Then came the final blow.
"She said I've already contacted management and they're coming to speak with you, and the management got on the plane and told me that I needed to exit the aircraft," she said.
Weasel said she called American Airlines two weeks prior to their trip to give them notice that she’d be travelling with a service dog and they were fine with the arrangement. The airline even recommended they book bulkhead seating to be more comfortable. As Weasel explained, the family had taken three other flights previously with the dog and had no problems.
Stranded at the airport, Weasel and her family, including Chugg the golden doodle, ended up being re-routed to St. Louis from there they had to rent a car and drive three hours to get home.
"And the next day - which is the most painful part - I had to return the car all the way back to St. Louis. They didn't have a one-way rental so I had to take the car all the way back," she told Fox News.
American Airlines apologized for her inconvenience saying they were “aware of this issue and apologize to the passenger. Our customer relations team is reaching out to them directly. We are looking into the issue with PSA Airlines, the regional carrier who operated that flight.”
The airline also offered her a $150 voucher on a future trip. But Weasel may need more than a consolation prize.
"Hopefully they will hire people that have some compassion for the disabled folks in the community,” said Weasel to Fox News. “And my hope is that nobody else will have to go through this."