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I know – you don’t normally think of squirrels or other rodents as being capable of doing enough damage to actually cause any kind of meaningful maintenance or delay to air travel.

a squirrel standing on its hind legs

But in one of those stories that is almost too strange to believe, that’s exactly what happened to Frontier Airlines Flight 1612

Frontier flight 1612

Frontier Airlines flight 1612 was scheduled to go from Orlando (MCO) to Cleveland (CLE) on Tuesday evening. Scheduled to take off at 7:55 p.m. and land at 9:56 p.m., it didn’t reach the gate at Cleveland Hopkins airport until 3 minutes to midnight.

The reason? According to Frontier, a passenger had attempted to board with an “emotional support squirrel”. The passenger had indicated that she had an emotional support animal on her ticket, but Frontier’s emotional support animal policy prohibits “exotic” animals including but not limited to rodents, reptiles, insects, hedgehogs, rabbits, sugar gliders, non-household birds or improperly cleaned and/or animals with foul odor. Yes, squirrels are rodents.

Emotional support animals

Now having a few close friends and family members with “invisible disabilities”, I try to be sensitive to the concept of emotional support animals. And so even though the whole concept seems strange to me personally, I can understand how it might be helpful for some people. But it certainly seems that we’re hearing a lot of stories about people who are trying to get away with classifying their pets as ESAs.

(SEE ALSO: A case against “emotional support animals”on airplanes)

(SEE ALSO: Are Emotional Support Animals Circling The Drain?)

Frontier themselves is actually changing their emotional support animal policy as of November 1st to only allow a cat or dog that has to be stowed under the seat in front of the customer or on a leash at all times while in the airport and onboard the aircraft.

What do you think? Was this lady “nuts” for this “squirrelly” behavior?

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