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JetBlue Boots Passenger, Pet Opossum From Flight

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A California man claims he was stranded in Austin, Texas for four days after JetBlue refused to let him fly home with his pet opossum.

According to Fox 7 Austin, Gerald Tautenhahn said that he received permission to fly with his pet marsupial, Zatara, from both the airline and the Department of Transportation several weeks in advance of a Thanksgiving trip to visit his mother and had no issues on the initial flight from Long Beach to Austin.

However, the return flight didn’t go so smoothly as Tautenhahn said he was told he’d have to leave Zatara behind or deplane with his pet.

“Already boarded on the plane sitting on the seat and one of the crew members came up and said ‘hey can I speak with you outside?'” Tautenhahn said. “They said ‘hey, either you can leave her here or you can stay with her but she can’t fly.’ The feeling was insane, it was frustrating beyond belief because they let me come here with her but now I can’t return with her.”

Tautenhahn said JetBlue employees were short on solutions so he ultimately booked a new return flight with United Airlines.

“They had already flagged my name or whatever ‘check and see if he’s got an opossum with him’,” he told Fox 7. “I was like, ‘guys, do you have any, like, help, any solutions other than go away’ and they didn’t.”

It’s important to remember that not all airline pet policies are the same. JetBlue’s website states that dogs and cats are permitted to travel in FAA-approved carriers but doesn’t mention other animals.

“JetBlue gladly accepts small dogs and cats only in an approved pet carrier. On the customer’s return trip, our crewmembers in Austin witnessed the opossum come out of its carrier and saw that it was not a cat or dog,” an airline spokesperson explained to Fox 7. “The crewmembers informed the customer that the opossum would not be able to travel on the flight and worked to assist the customer with his options.”

A recent Pet Life Today survey of nearly 1,000 air travelers found that as many as one in four people believe pets shouldn’t be allowed to travel in the airplane cabin.

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Strange Odor at Oakland Airport Sends Travelers to the Hospital

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We have seen more issues with strange odors on airplanes in the last year or so than at any time, some so severe they required a diverted landing.

Now comes word that another incident has taken place, only this time it was actually inside the airport.

Four people were taken to local hospitals by the Oakland (Calif.) Fire Department on Tuesday after an unknown substance began giving off a strange odor at Oakland International Airport.

According to Fox News, the odor came from a small box at one of the ticketing counters that is used to discard items that cannot be brought on a plane via carry-on bag – water bottles, bottles of cologne or mouthwash larger than three ounces, etc.

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The airport played it safe and called the fire department, which sent a Hazmat crew according to the NBC TV affiliate in the Bay Area. There was no disruption to airport services, though four people were taken to the hospital to be checked out for precautionary reasons.

This is the latest in a series of numerous reports of odors emanating from a plane or airport just in the last year or so alone, much less beyond that time frame.

Some have been fumes that have forced flights to land.

Some have forced flights to divert to other airports.

Some have been so overwhelming that passengers and crew were hospitalized.

And some have even been visible – if you like your airplane cabin filling with an unknown fog.

The Oakland Fire Dept. is still investigating the cause of the odor.

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