A passenger who says he was forced off an American Airlines flight “so a dog could fly first class” is suing the carrier.
A man is suing American Airlines after he claims he was kicked off a flight “so a dog could fly first class.”
Dana Holcomb was scheduled to fly from Las Vegas to Austin after his 53rd birthday in April, a trip which had a connecting flight in Phoenix.
When Holcomb boarded the plane, he noticed that the woman sitting next to him was travelling with her support dog.
Holcomb, of Killeen, Texas, is allergic to dogs and reportedly began to suffer signs of a reaction within minutes.
When he tried to exchange seats with someone else in the first class cabin, Holcomb claims the captain and flight crew got involved.
According to reports, he was asked to move towards the back of the plane.
“You’re going to go back to the rear of the plane or you’re going to get off the plane. And you’re going to do it the easy way or the hard way,” the captain said, according to Holcomb’s attorney.
Holcomb was removed from the flight and accused of being confrontational — behaviour he denies.
He claims he was left without his luggage, medicine and had to find his own way home.
“We are seeking punitive damages, contractual damages,” his attorney said.
In a statement, American Airline said: “In an effort to accommodate Mr. Holcomb, the crew offered to move the customer with the support animal to another seat in the first class cabin so Mr. Holcomb could remain in his seat.
“Mr. Holcomb wasn’t satisfied with that solution, so he was given the option of a seat further away from the service animal in the main cabin with a refund in the difference in fare, which he also declined. After all the attempts to accommodate Mr. Holcomb were declined and he refused to comply with crew member instruction.”