Mississippi woman and army veteran Lisa McCombs was reportedly denied a flight by American Airlines after bringing her service dog on board.
Jake, McCombs’ 7-year-old chocolate lab, is trained to sense when McCombs' anxiety or panic levels are high. He did so recently, when an American Airlines gate agent made a joke to McCombs about the dog flying with her, WLOX reports.
“A crazy, obnoxious situation took place – arguing back and forth, humiliation, harassment and ultimately my flight was denied,” McCombs told the news station. “The whole situation perpetuated my disability. It sent me into crisis mode.”
McCombs was reportedly told she didn’t have the correct documentation to allow Jake to fly with her. However, since Jake is a medical alert service dog, he doesn’t need documentation to fly.
“He comes to me, presses his body tightly against me, licks my face,” McCombs said. “He’s a calming mechanism for me to be able to cope with my disability.”
After 48 hours of waiting and phone calls, McCombs and Jake were finally allowed to board.
Since the event, American Airlines has reportedly contacted McCombs directly to insist that the company is committed to veterans. They also told her they are willing to do whatever it takes to make the situation right.
McCombs' experience comes just about a month after a similar incident occurred, also on American Airlines.
Capt. Jason Haag, a former Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was not permitted to board an American Airlines flight on Sept. 20 with his service dog, Fox News reported at the time.
The airline reportedly issued Haag an apology following the incident.
McCombs is currently seeking council from her lawyer.