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Family says service dog kicked off flight, airlines investigating

American Airlines officials are investigating after a woman claimed a flight attendant kicked her family off a plane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport because her son's service dog was too big.

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Amy Jo Weasel, of Illinois, said her family boarded their fourth and final flight in Charlotte on Thanksgiving Day, when they were harassed. 

Weasel said the flight attendant asked her to move from her assigned seat because of the dog. The attendant then asked her to put the service dog under the seat, but Weasel said that also wasn't good enough.

"She told me that it was too late; that she had already contacted management and that management would come speak to me," Weasel said. 

Weasel said she contacted American Airlines prior to their travel, and provided a physician's note and official documentation for her son's service dog.

"I explained to them that the dog was large, wanting to make sure they could accommodate him," she said.

Chug, a golden doodle, weighs 110 pounds.

Weasel said her son was diagnosed with severe epilepsy and Chug is trained in seizure work.

She said American Airlines assigned her family in bulkhead seating, which offers additional space, and that they'd made it through three previous flights on the same itinerary without an issue.

"We talked to the gate attendant, the dog was with us the entire time,” she said. “We had no issues whatsoever until we got onto the airplane [in Charlotte.]"

A spokesperson with American Airlines offered the following statement regarding the incident:

"We are aware of this issue and apologize to the passenger. Our customer relations team is reaching out to them directly. We are looking into the issue with PSA Airlines, the regional carrier who operated that flight."

"For someone to just to be able to kick you off and deny you access is completely ridiculous," Weasel said.

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News

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