Two passengers and their emotional support dogs were escorted off a Norwegian Air flight from London to Austin, Texas, shortly before takeoff when the animals allegedly began showing signs of emotional “distress.”
The captain on the flight was reportedly so alarmed by the two French bulldogs that he turned the aircraft around and had the pets and their owners removed. The incident reportedly held up the flight for an hour.
It’s not certain what signs of distress the dogs were exhibiting. A report from The Sun claimed the animals were barking loudly onboard, and pictures shared to social media showed the dogs in tutus, the BBC reported.
"The safety and security of our passengers and crew is always our number one priority,” a Norwegian Air spokesperson said in a statement provided to The Independent.
"Flight DI7181 from Gatwick to Austin had not yet departed when the captain took the decision to offload emotional support dogs and their two owners at the gate due to the dogs showing signs of distress in the cabin.”
A spokesperson from Gatwick Airport in London confirmed to the outlet that the support dogs were “fully verified and met all requirements, including passports and paperwork when passing through airport security and boarding.”
Norwegian allows emotional support dogs in the cabin on all its direct flights to and from the U.S., but not on flights to the U.K.