College student says airline made her flush prized hamster down toilet

Belen Aldecosea was twice told by Spirit Airlines she could bring the animal, called Pebbles, on board - only for them to deny it access when she turned up at Baltimore Airport last November.

The college student said a Spirit Airlines employee suggested she let Pebbles free or flush it down the toilet.

Aldecosea said that she wasn't able to leave the airport and book a later flight because of a medical issue.

"She was scared. I was scared". And so an increasingly desperate Aldecosea said she flushed Pebbles down an airport toilet.

'I was emotional. I was crying.

She told the newspaper she cried in a restroom stall for 10 minutes after feeling that she had no choice but to flush Pebbles.

Aldecosea is now considering filing a lawsuit against Spirit Airlines for the incident after rejecting the airline's offer of a free flight voucher.

Just over a week ago, for example, there was that woman who tried to bring her emotional support peacock on a flight (a request that was, understandably, denied).

She says she tried to book a rental auto with six different companies but did not have any success.

Goodman told the Herald: "This wasn't a giant peacock that could pose a danger to other passengers".

The animal helped comfort her before she knew the growth was benign, especially since she didn't know many people in Philadelphia, Goodman said. Each time, an airline representative told her the hamster could fly with her, a Spirit spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider. According to Aldecosea, she brought the doctor's emotional support certification for Pebbles to the airport. The student said she bought Pebbles for some company.

"I didn't have any other options", she told The Herald.

Spirit Airlines, meanwhile, denies that any agent would suggest this option to Aldecosea, or any guest.

In a statement the airline said, "we can say confidently that at no point did any of our agents suggest this Guest (or any other for that matter) should flush or otherwise injure an animal".

Hamsters are not prohibited by the Transportation Security Administration, but it would have had to be taken out of its holder and carried through the security checkpoint.

However, it is up to individual airlines to decide whether they allow the rodents on board. The rep told her it was fine - an assurance that Spirit agrees was given to Aldecosea. "She pondered whether to just let Pebbles free outside", the Herald continues, but eventually decided said it was "more humane to end [Pebbles'] life right away, and not let her run around scared in the cold, only to die getting hit by a vehicle". She said she considered it more humane to end her life right away, and not let her run around scared in the cold, only to die getting hit by a vehicle.

But with no other options, Aldecosea said she felt it was more humane to end her life that way, rather than letting her go and risking her getting hit by a auto.

  • Anthony Vega