A college student is hoping to be reunited with her pet fish after airline staff refused to let her carry the male beta on her flight.
According to RTV6, a lonely Lanice Powless purchased her scaly pink pet from a local Petco, during her freshman year at the University of Colorado. She named him “Cassie.”
Powless, who is currently a sophomore, had no idea this fish would become her best friend.
“I put my finger in there, he comes up and nibbles my finger. He was a cool fish. I even got him a heater because it gets so cold in Colorado.”
Unfortunately, their good times recently came to an end when Powless arrived at Denver International Airport for her flight home to California. A Southwest Airlines staff refused to let her bring her buddy on board, despite her claim that she’d done it numerous times before.
— SD Newsfeed (@SDNewsfeed) December 15, 2018
Further, the TSA website says:
Live fish in water and a clear transparent container are allowed after inspection by the TSA officer.
However, another portion of the website advises travelers to also check their selected airline’s pet policy.
In this case, South West’s policy presently states:
Southwest Airlines will only accept small cats and dogs in carriers that can be stowed under the Customer’s seat.
Powless says she asked the staff if she could leave Cassie on the counter and have a friend come and pick the fish up in a half an hour. Her request was denied.
After a frantic search, Powless found a traveler flying with an airline that allows fish on board to care for Cassie on her behalf. However, she was unable to exchange contact information with the stranger.
“They were not allowing us to converse at all because they were thinking we were going to do some secret exchange throughout the airport. Even after I was no longer in possession of the fish, they still continued to have security around us, and follow us through the airport and escorted onto our plane, as if we brought something bad onto the airport.”
As RTV6 reports, the student is now spending her winter break missing her friend.
“Everyone’s laughing at me. Yes, it’s a fish. I know. But dang, it was my pet. And just because it wasn’t a cat or dog, it wasn’t as important?”
According to KGTV , a spokeswoman from Southwest Airlines says the staff members were only following protocol. She says the staff and offered Powell a later flight so she could make arrangements for Cassie, but she refused. The airline extended an apology for making Powell uncomfortable during the situation.