Support animal denied entry on flight after Allegiant changes policy

Florida

A Mount Dora woman is furious after she said she missed her flight because an airline told her she did not have the proper forms for her emotional support animal.

Barbara Bermingham showed up to the Orlando-Sanford International Airport to check in for her flight Sunday afternoon.

“My husband just died, and (my dog’s) been especially important to me,” Bermingham said.

Bermingham spends half of the year in Mt. Dora and the other half in New Hampshire.

She said agents at the Allegiant ticket counter told her she did not have the right paperwork for her dog.

Bermingham said she’s been flying on Allegiant for five years and has never had a problem providing veterinary records and psychiatric records to justify the need for her to travel with her dog, Mulligan.

The schnauzer-poodle mix is Bermingham’s constant companion and emotional support animal. He sits on her lap whenever she flies somewhere.

There are three new forms, available on the airline’s website, that are now required.

Bermingham flew into the Orlando-Sanford International Airport without a problem in October with her prior forms, but the new ones were announced in November.

An Allegiant spokeswoman said they have records indicating the new forms were mailed and emailed to Bermingham in November.

Bermingham said she didn’t know she needed the forms for this trip until two days ago.

Bermingham said what upset her is that agents told her she could fly, but her dog would have to stay.

“I really was getting angry, and I said ‘Well I think I would like a refund,’ and he said ‘You can’t get a refund because I didn’t say you could not get onto the plane. I said your dog can’t get onto the plane,'” Bermingham said.

The spokesperson with Allegiant said with updated documentation completed, they will re-accommodate Bermingham on another upcoming flight without charge.

“We apologize if that was not clearly communicated. We thank our customers for understanding that the goal of the new policy is to ensure safe travel for all passengers, animals and crew members.”

Allegiant also wanted to remind those who are flying to check the policies on emotional support and service animals beforehand, as policies are constantly changing.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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