Southwest Airlines Forcibly Takes Student’s Pet Fish Away From Her

Flying is either the most stressful time of the day or a comforting place to nap for an hour. When turbulence hits, the heart jumps and the mind immediately fills with memories from Lost. You’ll be glad to hear that, according to Curiosity, the chances of a plane crashing are approximately 1 in 1.2 million while car accidents are 1 in 5,000.

On a more positive note, if flying is extremely unnerving you can get an emotional service dog or bring your furry friend along just for funsies. Check your airline’s disclaimers and requirements prior to flying as each airline is different. A woman in California was recently forced to leave her beloved pet behind to be able to fly with Southwest Airlines.

Why Was She Forced To Surrender Her Pet?

Lanice Powless, a California woman attending the University of Colorado, tried to bring her pink beta fish, Cassie, onto a flight when she was stopped by an employee. Powless got Cassie after experiencing a lonely freshman year in college.

After being approached by airline employees, the sophomore asked the Southwest staff if she could leave Cassie on their counter so a friend could pick her up in a half hour, but they denied her. She began searching the airport for a stranger to become Cassie’s new owner. Powless never got the stranger’s name as the staff separated the pair abruptly.

According to 10 News, Powless said, “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.”

Are Fish Even Allowed On Flights?

According to the TSA website, live fish are allowed as a carry-on if they’re contained in a clear, transparent container.

Powless has flown Southwest with Carrie many times without a problem. The Southwest pet policy only allows small cats and dogs to travel as pets.

In a statement to USA TODAY, Southwest responded, “A Customer attempted to bring a pet fish onboard their flight from Denver to San Diego. Our Customer Service Agents informed the Customer about Southwest’s pets policy which does not allow for live fish to travel in the passenger cabin. Our Team offered to re-book the Customer for a later flight to allow them to make arrangements for their pet but the Customer refused that option. The Customer eventually traveled on their originally scheduled flight.”