UH OH: A Monkey Got Loose on a Flight to Las Vegas

Airlines and their frequent flyer programs are known to play monkey see, monkey do copying each other’s policies and promotions. But rarely do passengers bring monkeys into the cabin on a flight.

However Tuesday night’s Frontier Airlines flight from Columbus, Ohio to Las Vegas had a monkey on board in the passenger cabin. And it got loose.

According to a Las Vegas airport spokesperson, Frontier staff reported to them that:

“the monkey was loose, or got loose” briefly during the flight.

However Frontier’s official line is that the monkey “was always with the passenger it was traveling with” so it wasn’t actually loose.

Initially it was reported that a man smuggled the monkey onto the plane because a flight attendant noticed the monkey inside the passenger’s shirt. It was an emotional support monkey and he was carrying a doctor’s note for it, but he refused to show the note until the plane landed. So add that to the list with emotional support turkeys of signs of the End Times.

Police responded to the incident on arrival but since nothing criminal had taken place everyone was allowed to disembark and go gamble. Crucially, “No injuries were reported as of early Wednesday.”

It’s unclear what kind of havoc the monkey was wreaking on the flight. It turns out, for instance, that an infinite number of monkeys typing wouldn’t actually be able to produce a Shakespearean play.

American Airlines first class snack baskets used to include bananas. But since this was Frontier Airlines, it’s unlikely any bananas would be found unless a passenger happened to bring one on board. They wouldn’t have had a Frontier Airlines club lounge to take one from, either. America West had a club lounge in Columbus but that closed a dozen years ago.

As far as Frontier Airlines is concerned the only issue here is that the passenger — who denies being The Man With the Yellow Hatfailed to notify the airline about the monkey in his shorts shirt prior to departure.

International travel with a monkey might be a whole different animal as customs and quarantine rules can come into play as Justin Bieber learned when his monkey was seized in Munich.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “An an emotional support monkey???” Are you kidding me? I will ask my doctor to write a nice note so I can board my emotional support elephant to sit next to me on business class next time I fly. People in this country are losing the sense of the ridiculous and stupidity.

  2. For the record, the HP club at CMH was pretty sad and, thanks to HP’s policy of admitting all paid F passengers, it was often crazy busy.

  3. Am I the only one who is appalled by a loose monkey in the cabin of a commercial flight? Seriously, it’s illegal to have monkeys as pets and beyond that monkeys carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans through bites.

    A monkey gets through security but not my 4oz shampoo….. Good job TSA.

  4. Can my wife be my emotional support animal? I mean, if we’re being ridiculous why not go for the gold?

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