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Kristin Chenoweth

American Airlines

Treated Me Like a Dog

2/1/2013 4:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Kristin Chenoweth says she was the victim of a screaming, angry gate agent who bullied her and embarrassed her when she tried to board an American Airlines flight with her emotional support dog ... and now the airline is begging for her forgiveness.

TMZ has learned, the altercation went down this week as Kristin boarded a flight from Dallas to L.A.. We're told Kristin had her emotional support dog in tow -- as she always does -- when she was confronted by a gate agent supervisor who claimed Kristin didn't have the proper paperwork to bring the dog on board.

When Kristin protested, insisting she had done everything correctly, the agent got "verbally abusive" in front of several passengers ... scolding the actress ... and Kristin was so shaken up, she burst into tears.

Eventually airline officials realized a mistake had been made -- and Kristin was allowed to board the flight with her dog. Whoops.

After the flight, Kristin tweeted, "American Airlines: Dallas flight attnt supervisor Ms. Kidwell. Abuse not okay. #tripfromhell."

Seems American Airlines was paying attention to the tweet -- because a rep for AA tells us, "We have been in touch with Ms. Chenoweth to offer our apologies for the misunderstanding. We refunded the [$125] cabin pet charge as soon as we realized the mistake. We hope she will consider flying American again in the future."

Kristin wasn't lying when she said she flies with the dog all the time -- we shot video of her last month with her dog Madeline ... and everything seemed fine.


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For everyone concerned about why Kristin has an emotional service dog, you should know that she does actually have something called Ménière's disease. You can look it up - it's an inner ear disorder that causes extreme vertigo (like being really dizzy all the time) so I can imagine that flights would be really difficult. Thanks for reading - have a nice day!

634 days ago

chris keller    

American Airlines is not just bankrupt it is morally bankrupt. If you charge a fee for a service and then deny said service you are accountable. If your gate representative is used to being rude and you condone this behaviour in your hub you have no right to be in the service sector and should get out now. Please take your rude arogant agents with you. RIP AA!
p.s. you can paint a pig but it's still a pig.

634 days ago

chris keller    

A.A. sounds like a 12 step program that is not just fiscally bankrupt but also morally so. They charge for a service that they provide and then humiliate the paying passenger who otherwise would have used an alternative method of travel. I hate bullies and I am certainly glad when they are exposed. A.A. uses our nations good name to their shame. You can paint a pig and name it what ever you want to but if it's a bankrupt pig then It is a bankrupt pig. I would rather die than fly a.a. on an obsolete md90.

634 days ago


SO sorry that no one asked you all if it was ok for people with emotional issues to have a support dog. Given that all of you are licensed therapists etc. and general know it alls I am surprised that you have never seen or heard of an emotional support dog. Stop being so mean

634 days ago


"Eventually airline officials realized a mistake had been made" .. aka they realized they were dealing with celebrity and this story was about to go public very quickly.

633 days ago


Gate Agents ARE NOT Flight attendant Supervisors! They are a completely different workgroup. Kristin, if you are going to cry your story to the world, get the facts straight!

633 days ago


Did the stupid B ask if anyone on the plane was allergic to animals. Shows no class, consideration for others.

633 days ago


To have an "Emotional Support Animal", a person MUST be mentally disabled OR have a mental condition severe enough to be considered a disability. A mere mental "condition" that is not severe enough to be considered disabling doesn't qualify. And Menere's disease doesn't qualify for an ESA. This causes vertigo. If she has this so severe to be considered disabling, she'd need a balance assist service dog, which would be A LOT bigger than the little white puffball she's carrying around. You also must be under the care of a mental health professional. They must write a letter, on their letterhead, stating which disability you have in the DSM IV, what difficulties your disability causes, that you need an ESA and what it'll do to mitigate your disability. This letter must be less than a year old. Of everyone in the world, I'm certain actors and actresses don't have a problem obtaining one of these letters, under care or not. Also, an ESA or service dog (they are two separate things with different qualifications) are ONE animal. She's been seen with different dogs. ESA's and Service Dogs aren't interchangeable depending on which pet matches your outfit. Ms Chenowith isn't qualified to have an Emotional Support Animal. She is abusing the system and her fame so that her little dog doesn't have to fly in cargo every time she flies (ESA's and Service Dogs fly in cabin and for free). She should be ashamed of herself. People like her make it difficult for those with REAL ESA's or Service Dogs. American Airlines backed down because Ms. Chenoweth, backed by her fame and large twitter account, threatened to do as much PR damage as possible - and even after they WRONGLY apologized and let her board with her fraudulent ESA, she STILL tweeted a negative tweet about AA. By those here who obviously believe her, it's obvious there are suckers born every minute. She should be boycotted by the disabled and by those with legitimate service dogs and ESA's.

607 days ago


607 days ago
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