American Airlines has apologized to an Indiana family traveling with a disabled boy after they were allegedly kicked off a flight when a employee said the child's service dog was too large.
On Thanksgiving day, Amy Jo Weasel says that her family had already boarded the flight at Charlotte Douglas International when an attendant asked her to move from her assigned seat because of the dog. Then the attendant asked her to put the service dog under the seat.
But that also wasn’t sufficient, according to Weasel.
"You could tell right away from her demeanor, her attitude, and her body language that she did not like animals," Weasel told FOX Charlotte.
"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."
Weasel said she contacted American prior to their flight and provided a physician's note with official documentation for her son's dog. Weasel says her son has been diagnosed with severe epilepsy and Chugg, their 110-pound golden doodle, is trained in seizure work.
She said American inititally assigned her family bulkhead seating, which provides for additional space, and that they'd already made it through three previous flights on the same itinerary without any issues.
The airline later issued an apology for the incident Monday night, stating that 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-- but Weasel isn't sure that's enough to make up for what happened.
Says the mother, "Hopefully they will hire people that have some compassion for the disabled folks in the community. And my hope is that nobody else will have to go through this."
Incidents with customers accompanied by trained animals being denied service isn't exclusive to the skies, however.
Last week, a blind man from New York City filed a formal complaint against a Popeyes restaurant for refusing him entry with his service dog. Popeyes later said that they were working closely with the customer to address the issue.