Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Bumped by Allegiant, hermit crabs get a free ride to Illinois on Delta

FORT WALTON BEACH — Two hermit crabs evicted from a plane at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport last week have caught a new ride to Illinois.

The crabs, named Spirit and Rainbow, belong to 7-year-old Ella and 5-year-old Elin Palmer, whose parents own a condo in Panama City Beach.

Shelly and Richard Palmer told the Daily News that they called the airport as well as Allegiant Airlines to make sure they could bring the crabs on the plane. They also say that they walked into the airport, checked with an Allegiant employee at the ticket counter, carried the crabs through the TSA screening and boarded the plane with them.

But before the plane pulled away from the gate, the flight attendant told them it was against the law to fly with hermit crabs and confiscated them.

A gate agent came and got the small plastic tank, which Ella had been holding, and told the girls the crabs would be sent to a “shelter.”

“She sobbed for 15 minutes in my husband’s lap,” Shelly said of Ella’s reaction.

A spokeswoman for Allegiant Airlines said they have no record of the Palmers calling the airline until after the incident. Although their website does not specifically mention whether hermit crabs can be brought on board, it does specify that dogs and cats are the only live animals allowed outside of the cargo hold.

The crabs were confiscated on a Saturday. When Panhandle Animal Welfare Society Director Dee Thompson came into work Monday, she got a call from Shelly Palmer asking about her crabs.

Thompson called out to the airport and tracked down the crustaceans, which were staying in an employee’s home on his coffee table. An animal control officer picked them up the next day.

The Palmers plan to fly back into town Thursday for a few days, this time using Delta Airlines. Shelly spent Tuesday morning on the phone with Delta, which agreed to ship the crabs back to Illinois at no charge.

“Delta for the win,” Shelly texted the Daily News, adding that it would have cost $95.46 to ship the crabs.

She added that the Delta employee told her, “This is so much bigger than hermit crabs ... It’s the integrity and honesty of a company that earns people’s trust and Delta is so humbled and proud to be a part of this happy ending.”

Spirit and Rainbow’s fates have already taken a turn for the better since their arrival at PAWS a week ago.

Thompson gave Spirit, who arrived in a purple painted shell, a new home to move into and the crab transferred into it Monday night. A new shell is waiting for Rainbow back in Illinois, as well as a 10-gallon tank and two new hermit crabs, purchased after the family returned home.

“Now they will be one big happy crab family,” Shelly texted. “It may seem silly — just some hermit crabs.

“It’s the principle of it,” she added. “We were not treated with good customer service.”

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.nwfdailynews.com

1 comment:

  1. I just left Tampa Airport. I had two hermit crabs for my grandkids and they were so excited. They were in a very small plastic carrier. TSA approved them. As I was getting ready to board the boarding employee of Delta told me I could not take them. She said, “No Hermit crabs allowed” I said, I just came through TSA. She said it’s in our policy of Delta. Needless to say I was very upset and had to leave them. My whole trip was ruined and my grandkids were very disappointed. If I had only put them in my carry on they would have not stopped me, The one boarding employee said we can release them back in the water. I advised her they were Land Crabs. Delta I hope one of your employee s is enjoying them,