Airline alleges monkey smuggled onto plane in a duffel bag, TSA disputes

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Aug. 11, 2016 at 12:44 PM
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LAS VEGAS, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Frontier Airlines said a "loose" monkey on a flight from Ohio to Las Vegas was smuggled onto the plane by its owner, but TSA agents said the primate was properly screened.

The airline said a flight attendant confronted the passenger on the Tuesday night flight from Columbus, Ohio, to Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport when the monkey was spotted poking out from inside the person's shirt.

Frontier said the passenger refused to present paperwork for the monkey to the flight attendant, leading them to contact police.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers responded when the plane landed, but they determined the monkey was a registered emotional support animal and no criminal activities took place.

Frontier alleged the passenger smuggled the monkey through the airport and onto the plane in a duffel bag, but Transportation Security Administration officers in Columbus said the monkey was properly screened before boarding the flight and was held by its owner through a security checkpoint.

McCarran International Airport spokeswoman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal a Frontier employee reported "that the monkey was loose, or got loose" during the flight.

However, Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver clarified that while the monkey was not contained in a carrier, it was with its owner for the entirety of the flight.

"The monkey was never loose in the cabin," Oliver said. "It was always with the passenger it was traveling with."

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