Veterans

Combat vet with PTSD sues American Airlines for barring service dog from flight

Army vet Lisa Mccombs, of Gulfort, Miss., and her service dog Jake. (WLOX-TV)

Army vet Lisa Mccombs, of Gulfort, Miss., and her service dog Jake. (WLOX-TV)

An Army vet who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan claims in a lawsuit that American Airlines refused to let her board a plane with her service dog.

The Army Times reports that Lisa McCombs, of Gulfport, Miss., brought the lawsuit, saying she was humiliated last year when airline staff refused to let her fly home with the dog who helps her deal with her disability and has the papers to prove it.

McCombs left the Army as a captain in 2009 after four years of service. The dog is a chocolate Labrador retriever named Jake.

The Army Times reported that it tried to interview McCombs about the lawsuit but she referred a reporter to her attorney.

The paper reported that when it reached the attorney he declined to comment.

The lawsuit says Jake wasn’t allowed to fly with McCombs even though the airline says it welcomes service dogs on flights. It took McCombs and Jake two days to fly home.

WLOX-TV reported that the lawsuit says American Airline agents were rude and condescending to McCombs in Kansas.

The lawsuit says agents asked her “Are you trying to fly with that?” and “What is your disability anyway?” according to the station.

Her lawusit claims violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and seeks unspecified damages.

American Airline spokesman Matt Miller told the Army Times that Jim Palmersheim, the airline’s senior manager of Military and Veterans Programs, spoke to McCombs immediately after the incident.

He also said the airline had no comment on the lawsuit.