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Southwest passenger claims airline is forced to let her pet the fish at the airport

Lanice Powless, a University of Colorado student, was flying to California from Denver International Airport when they said that a Southwest Airlines employee informed her that she would not be allowed to have her pink beta fish, Cassie, on board with her.
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A California woman is claiming a Southwest Airlines agent forced her to leave her pet fish at the airport last Wednesday.

Lanice Powless, a University of Colorado student, was flying to California from Denver International Airport when they said that a Southwest Airlines employee informed her that she would not be allowed to have her pink beta fish, Cassie, on board with her.

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“I have him with me wherever I go,” Powless said to 10News.

Powless had gotten the fish her first year at the university to combat loneliness she was feeling to be away at school. The two formed a fast friendship, Powless told 10News.

“I put my finger in, he will come up and bite my finger. He was a nice fish,” she said. “I got him a heater, because it is so cold in Colorado.”

Powless said she had Cassie to flee and was not bothered about.

“I’ve traveled. I had it in my container.”

According to the TSA website, live fish are allowed on board as carry-on bags.

“Live fish in the water and a clear transparent container are allowed after inspection by the TSA officer,” the website reads.

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However, Southwest Airlines’ policy allows only small dogs and cats that will fit under the seat to fly.

Desperate, Powless said she asked a gate agent would they let her fish on the counter so a friend could come pick him up in half an hour. However, the agent allegedly refused her, making Powless to start asking random passengers of other airlines as they wanted to care for the beta.

Fortunately, Powless claims that they managed to find someone who will be traveling on an airline that is permitted to fish who was willing to Cassie, but the airport staff were dubious.

“They were not allowing us to talk, because they thought we were going to do what the secret switch in the airport,” Powless said. “Even after I was no longer in the possession of the fish, they were still busy with the security around us, and follow us through the airport and escorted to our plane, if we brought something bad at the airport,” she added.

Powless noted that they always made fun of her fishy friend, but sees it as no different than being stuck to a cat or dog.

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“Everyone laughs at me. Yes, it is a fish. I know. But dang, it was my pet. And precisely because it is not a dog or a cat, it was not so important?” Powless said.

Southwest Airlines not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but told 10News that the airport staff followed protocol in this situation. The airline spokesman also said that the exhaust that Powless was offered a later flight, so they can make arrangements for her fish, but she would not take the offer.

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