Veteran claims she was kicked off Spirit flight because support dog looked mean

Monday, April 4, 2016
Woman: I was forced off flight because of support dog
A Houston woman says she wasn't allowed on a plane because a flight attendant thought her support dog looked mean.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An emotional support dog is meant to be comforting. But a Houston couple says an airline crew felt intimidated and ultimately kicked them off their flight.

This all happened Saturday when US Army veteran Janae Fowler was boarding a Spirit Airlines flight from Denver back home to Houston. She tells us her dog has flown with her more than six times and there was never a problem until Saturday.

"He relaxes me," Fowler said. "He makes me smile. He calms me down. He makes me feel everything's going to be OK."

Last week Fowler and her boyfriend, Cecil Mullenweg, went to Colorado to visit some of her old Army friends.

"The flight out was great. Spirit was good to us all the way out to Denver," Mullenweg said.

But when Fowler tried to board the return flight, she says a flight attendant changed things up.

"Basically she said, 'Oh hell no.' I said,'What's wrong?' She said, 'Is that a pit bull?' And I said, 'Yes, ma'am, it's a pit bull and a chocolate lab.'"

She tells us she got to the back of the plane and another attendant asked to see Ziggy's paperwork.

"Now she's on the phone and she's saying 'an emotional support animal isn't a service animal. A service animal is for someone with real disabilities.' And I felt insulted because there are veterans in the world that have disabilities you can't see," Fowler said.

The couple tells Eyewitness News Spirit put them on a United Airlines flight back to Houston later that night.

"But my thing is you trust me to go on another flight but not this flight. It's wrong, period. The whole situation was wrong. And I just want to advocate for me and my dog," Fowler said.

In a statement Tuesday, a Spirit Airlines spokesperson disputed Fowler's version of events. The entire statement is below: