Local couple was kicked off plane because of dog, now Thanskgiving family trip is ruined


HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — On one of the busiest days for air travel, a Huntersville couple is heartbroken when they told Fox46 Charlotte they were thrown off their flight on their way to see family in Florida, all because of their dog.

Jeff and Jessica Kessel boarded an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, traveling to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday to visit family they see once a year at Thanksgiving. The Kessel’s told Fox46 Charlotte flight attendants asked them to exit the plane because their dog was crying.

“She wasn’t even behaving that badly,” said Jeff Kessel. “I have listened to babies scream. They don’t get kicked off the plane.”  

A flight attendant asked that their nine-year-old dog Lily be kept under the seat. When they complied, Lily started to cry. Kessel tells Fox46 Charlotte passengers around them did not have a problem with the dog, and were understanding of the cries.

While the Kessel’s had to leave the plane, they were told their luggage had to stay.

“We asked to get our baggage off the plane and they said it would delay it another 15 minutes, so they sent our bags to Florida,” said Kessel.

The bags were supposed to be returned to their home in Huntersville at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday night. The couple was then told the bags may not arrive until early Thursday.

Now the couple wants a refund and an apology.

“At first I just wanted to money back for the flight, but now I feel like they owe us more,” said Kessel. They put us out a family trip which is more than just money.”

Fox46 Charlotte reached out to American Airlines for a comment. They have yet to respond to our request. 

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