A dog used to help comfort COVID-19 patients died suddenly while onboard Southwest Airlines, according to the Pennsylvania dog owner's attorney.
The x-ray technician only identified as Courtney claims her 3-year-old French bulldog died during a Southwest Airlines flight on Dec. 21, her attorney Evan Oshan said in an email to Daily Voice.
Courtney was en route to Pennsylvania from Pensacola, Florida and changed to flight 552 in Nashville, Tennessee. Sometime during that flight, her dog Charlie began having breathing problems while in his dog carrier, according to the statement.
The dog had a ticket as a paying passenger on the flight, but when Courtney tried to open his carrier to help him breathe a flight attendant told her that was not allowed and threatened to turn the plane around, her lawyer said.
“Charlie moaned for air, I was unable to help him and he died,” she says in the statement. “I am an x-ray technician traveling around the US helping (COVID-19) patients and Charlie was my companion giving me comfort while I assisted (COVID-19) patients.”
Courtney thinks Charlie suffered a heat stroke and a seizure during the flight and believes that Southwest Airlines “let him die," according to her statement.
A necropsy has not been performed, according to TMZ.
"Once again the airlines have not taken our four-legged family members into account. Charlie was a paying passenger and desired to be allowed to breathe. His travel companion- a health care worker was bullied and not allowed to help him," her attorney said
Court wants the flight attendant who refused to allow her to open the carrier fired, -- and she also plans to file a lawsuit against the airline over the loss of her dog and for her pain and suffering, TMZ reports.
Southwest Airlines issued a statement to TMZ saying it is “disheartened to learn about the passing of this Customer’s pet,” but added that “Tens of thousands of Customers travel with cats and dogs every month on Southwest. While onboard the aircraft, pets must remain in their well-ventilated carriers at all times for the comfort and safety of fellow Customers.”
In the meantime, the airline has refunded Courtney the cost of both her and Charlie’s tickets, according to TMZ.
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