A man was denied boarding by KLM when he tried to bring his rabbit on board a flight from São Paulo to Amsterdam on Thursday. He’d obtained a court order instructing KLM to allow him to travel, but airport staff disregarded the court ruling and the situation descended into chaos.
KLM normally doesn’t transport rabbits, only dogs and cats. The airline says there was an “internal misconception” and the court order should have been honored, though it’s not clear to me what his destination was and whether he would have been eligible to bring his rabbit into his country of final destination.
The passenger cursed employees – and in response was “beaten with punches” by staff. The man was “pushed and fell on top of the suitcase where the rabbit was.” He didn’t want to check the rabbit as cargo but fell on top of the rabbit, so that’s sort of ironic.
“Due to an internal company mistake, the exceptional transport of the animal in the aircraft cabin, based on a court decision, was not communicated to the flight crew in advance,” the company said.
“Unlike dogs and cats, rodent animals cannot be transported in the aircraft cabin for safety reasons, which is why passengers were not able to board the KLM flight this Thursday (11/18) in São Paulo with their rabbit ”, completed.
…KLM also said that it “deeply regrets that the situation has escalated to a disagreement at the embarkation point” and claims to condemn “any type of violent behavior by passengers and employees.”
Rabbits are not – in fact – rodents, but still not allowed under KLM policy though the airline acknowledged they’re subject to the order of the court and rebooked the passenger and his rabbit for travel on Friday, and the airline “obtained a second authorization from the Court for the rabbit Alfredo to board under police escort” (emphasis mine).