The Mystery of the Monkey on the Frontier Flight Deepens

Yesterday, I reported that a monkey got loose on an airplane, causing a bit of a ruckus.

It turns out that original reports were incorrect about the facts.

The monkey in question was a certified service animal.  Because police were called to the scene over the animal and it had proper paperwork, everyone assumed something like this happened:

gorilla monkey king kong

But it wasn’t like that at all.

It turns out, the passenger in question smuggled the monkey on board in his duffel bag.

The flight crew was concerned once they realized a live animal had been brought on board in someone’s luggage.

He didn’t inform the crew about the animal nor would he turn over any paperwork once questioned.  (Note: for an emotional service animal, they are allowed to ask for paperwork.  Some airlines, such as American, also require specific forms to be filled out ahead of time by your doctor).

Once police were brought into things upon landing, then the passenger showed he had clear paperwork allowing him to travel with the monkey.


McCarran International Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews says law enforcement officials met up with the plane and determined that the monkey was a certified service animal.

An aside: Surprisingly, in searching for my story from yesterday, I realized that I reported in 2012 about a monkey that got loose on the airplane back then.  

But this whole situation leads me to ask:

  • Why hide the monkey in a duffel bag when taking it on the plane?
  • And if you have proper paperwork, why refuse to show it?

As I wrote yesterday, he was legally allowed to take that monkey onto to plane and let it hang out on his lap.  I don’t see the benefit to being shady about the whole situation.

What do you think, am I missing something?  Is there anything rational about this behavior?


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I flew for US Airways and a crew flew a pig from PHL-SEA (a big service animal pig). A fellow pilot sad the only way he would fly the pig was in Barbecue.

  2. I just assumed that the passenger had previous experienced that led him to hide the monkey. He knew he was carrying within his rights and knew that being open about this would open another can of worms (figureatively speaking).

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