A lawsuit filed by a pregnant woman who flew from Miami to Los Angeles claims an American Airlines flight attendant yelled at her and forced her to keep her emotional support dog in a plane bathroom on the last leg of the flight.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month by Abigail Diveroli, who flew to Los Angeles from Miami International Airport back in April.
According to the suit, Diveroli, who is pregnant and suffers from severe anxiety, was traveling with her husband and 87-year-old grandfather, along with Simba, her comfort animal. The suit said Diveroli added Simba to the reservation and called the airline twice before the flight and was told Simba could fly with her.
But at one point during the flight, a flight attendant noticed Simba and screamed loudly that the dog isn't allowed in the cabin, saying it was an FAA violation, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit said the flight attendant yelled at Diveroli and her husband throughout the trip, at at one point Diveroli was downgraded from her business class seat. The flight attendant told Diveroli that Simba would have to be locked up in the bathroom for the last hour of the flight, the suit said.
According to the suit, the flight attendant "took the kennel and started slamming the dog, in its kennel, with the door to the bathroom."
When the plane landed, Diveroli claims she was escorted off by police. Diveroli said two other flight attendants apologized to her for their co-worker's behavior.
"AA completely ignored the mental anguish of a passenger, ignored their own carrier agreement with passengers, and violated every standard of decency," the lawsuit said.
An American Airlines spokesperson told NBC 6 on Wednesday that the travel was booked on a 777, which doesn't allow pets in the premium cabin. The spokesperson said staff at MIA offered to re-book the woman on a later flight but she declined and opeted to take a seat with the pet in the main cabin.
"Our professional crews are there to ensure the safety and comfort of all customers. In this case, the customer’s dog was traveling as a pet rather than an emotional support animal or service animal," an airline statement read. "FAA regulations require pets to stay in kennels that fit under the seat, however, this kennel didn’t fit under the seat. The flight crew tried to handle the situation in accordance with FAA regulations."