Before Belen Aldecosea flew home from college to South Florida, she twice called Spirit Airlines to ensure she could bring along a special guest: Pebbles, her pet dwarf hamster. No problem, the airline told her.
But when Aldecosea arrived at the Baltimore airport, Spirit refused to allow the tiny animal on the flight.
With her only friends hours away at campus, Aldecosea was stuck. She says an airline representative suggested flushing Pebbles down an airport toilet, a step that Spirit denies. Panicked and needing to return home promptly to deal with a medical issue, Aldecosea unsuccessfully tried renting a car and agonized for hours before doing the unthinkable.