"After researching this incident, 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", Spirit said in a statement to Business Insider.
Belen Aldecosea, 21, of Miami Beach, Florida, told the MiamiHerald that she contacted Spirit Airlines before her flight from Baltimore to South Florida on November 21, 2017, regarding traveling with her dwarf hamster, Pebbles.
A spokesperson for the airline confirmed with the newspaper that Aldecosea was told she could take pebbles on the flight.
Aldecosea claimed to the Herald that a representative with Spirit Airlines suggested she flush her pet down the toilet, a claim Spirit Airlines has denied.
Aldecosea said that she wasn't able to leave the airport and book a later flight because of a medical issue.
However, Spirit denied that their employee recommended the option of disposing of Pebbles down an airport toilet.
Hours away from campus and with no other options, Aldecosea did something she never thought she would have to do.
Goodman tells TIME that he and Aldecosea are planning to sit down and "discuss the legal remedies available", including a possible lawsuit. "I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet", the 21-year-old student, Belen Aldecosea, said according to the MiamiHerald on Thursday.
However, when the student arrived at the airport she said the airline refused to let Pebbles on the plane.
Aldecosea told the Herald she chose to come forward after hearing the peacock story.
Dwarf hamsters usually weigh less than two ounces - and the US Transportation Safety Administration has no rules against carry-on hamsters.
Her attorney, Adam Goodman, said he has been inundated with calls since news of Pebble's untimely death broke.
Guidance states: 'Hamsters are welcome in our checkpoint.
Spirit offered her a voucher for a free flight to certain cities. "Their container would typically go through the X-ray while the owner would hold the hamster as the passenger walks through the metal detector so the creature is not subjected to radiation".
The debate over what counts as an emotional-support animal, and which animals should be allowed on commercial flights, has become a near-crisis for airlines.
She twice called Spirit in advance, to verify the hamster could fly.
And as she considered it a more humane way of ending her life than letting her free outside, she did it.
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