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Fuss over refusal of pet fish as airline toughens up

December 20, 2018 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

A pet fish has been refused carriage on a flight, upsetting its owner, as a major US airline tightens its interpretation of a requirement to carry “emotional support animals”.

Southwest Airlines announced earlier this year it was limiting passengers to one emotional support animal per person ― and the animal must be either a dog or a cat.

Pigs, miniature horses and peacocks are excluded and so are fish. Now a shocked Californian student is accusing Southwest of forcing her to abandon her pet fish at Denver International Airport.

Student Lanice Powless told San Diego station KGTV she has travelled extensively with the fish, named Cassie, and the fish has never been refused carriage on an aircraft.

Powless says Southwest forced her to leave her emotional support fish at Denver International Airport, even though the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website says live fish are allowed on planes as carry-on luggage.  The Huffington Post described the pet as a “beta fish” – probably meaning a betta fish, also known as a Siamese fighting fish, highly popular among fanciers of pet fish.

Fox News reported that a gate agent refused to hold the fish at the counter for 30 minutes until a friend of Powless could pick it up. Powless was forced to ask strangers if they could care for Cassie, and when she found someone willing, she was unable to get that person’s name or other contact info. The fish disappeared.

Betta splendens, male, orange halfmoon – a fish similar to Cassie

Powless claims that even after she relinquished possession of her fish, security guards followed her and escorted her onto the plane.

Southwest has since confirmed that fish are not allowed on flights, USA Today reported.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    Well done Southwest. About time these stupid people, mostly women it seems, stopped turning up for flights with a myriad of animals. Thankfully we Aussies aren’t so stupid. Imagine turning up with an emotional support funnel web, or blue ringed octopus, or freshwater croc.

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