Fredericton — An Air Canada passenger who tried to bring her emotional support manatee on a flight out of Fredericton today was denied entry.
Air Canada cited the animal’s height and weight as reasons, and the fact that the animal could be a danger to the health and safety of other passengers. The woman, whose manatee has never had a problem securing access to air travel before (nor has it ever tried, but that’s beside the point), said this is nothing more than discrimination on the part of the airline.
“I put Hugh in a big plastic bag with water so he’d be OK for the duration of the flight to Florida,” said the woman, who claims to be an artist but is clearly just insane, “and I told airline staff that I have no problem purchasing an additional ticket for my animal, which I need for emotional support. They said no — who are they to turn down a customer just because he’s gigantic, lives in water and isn’t their species?”
Manatees can weigh up to 700 lbs, or about the weight of 3 or 4 average-sized New Brunswickers. The woman insists that this particular sea cow is the only thing that can soothe her frazzled nerves during air travel.
“Would they have allowed a smaller support animal, such as a peacock?” mused the woman.
Airport staff say the woman waited outside the building in a crane until she heard the final boarding call, then hoisted the manatee up and drove the poor bagged creature erratically down the tarmac, ignoring air traffic controllers’ screams.
Hugh is in a holding tank at the Fredericton airport until further notice.
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