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Kristin Chenoweth

American Airlines

Treated Me Like a Dog

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

0131-kristin-chenoweth-american-airlines
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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493 COMMENTS

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106.

Bec215    

Thi is not a service dog, please... she's managed to get a starry-eyed celebrity doctor to sign off on her needing one. Hello TMZ - why aren't your folks asking "WHY does she use a service dog? She is not blind, does not apparently suffer from seizures, etc.... It's insulting to those who genuinely need service animals to see her behaving this way. Let me guess - she gets 'panic attacks' without her 'service' dog..

525 days ago
107.

SharAnn1    

I am so tired of foo-foo dogs being given by (so called veterinarians,) a paper allow those dogs to be called, 'SERVICE DOGS.) It is obvious to those of us who work around service animals in our business to see what is really happening. Veterinarians should face a fine of 1,000 dollars per improper certification to stop this insanity.

525 days ago
108.

Bec215    

Alexander - in that case, she should PAY for her animal to accompany her. Everyone's pets are emotional support for their owners... it's insane she is haggling over $125 that everyone else - making far less money than her - has to pay.She may be nice, i don't know her, but she doesn't deserve special exceptions when flying.

525 days ago
109.

Youphemism    

I learned about this "service dog" scam when I saw a physically able woman with her "service dog" in a Home Depot. As I pet the dog, the woman explained the low requirements for service dogs. Her dog provided her comfort through panic attacks, and had been licenced by some "Intstadogschool," or something.

So basically, you say you're scared, get a certificate, and you can drag your pooch everywhere. Legal "aristocratization," brought to you by the same foppish twits who okayed Lexus Lanes.

Apparently, the British invasion never ended. It just went underground. I eagerly await their next Grey Poupon legislative act.

525 days ago
110.

JJ    

Why does she need a service dog? Just a way for her to get her dog ON the flight instead of having it below with other pets.

Bogus.

525 days ago
111.

jrcole    

why does she need a service dog there is nothing wrong with her she is taking advantage of this because real people blind,hearing impaired need service dogs she just does not want her dog in the carrier in the baggage area oh well then drive or leave ur dog at home these stars are given to many perks.i can not stand her after this

525 days ago
112.

Sabrina    

What's missing from this article is an explanation why she needs a service dog. She's definitely not blind. Or does she need it because she's short and is afraid of being trampled?

525 days ago
113.

bree    

Why does she need a service dog?

525 days ago
114.

Wedo    

It's a service dog to help her see over the counter .....

525 days ago
115.

caringhumanbeing    

Absolutely disgusting! First Aubrey O'Day, now this lady!? I actually have a severely disabled son and even he doesn't bring a service dog on flights...because he is too disabled to even fly!!!! What the hell is wrong with this chic? If you get stressed flying, take a Xanax and call it a day. You don't need a service dog you "holier than thou" celebrats!

525 days ago
116.

Jay    

There was a major "service dog" scam at an apartment complex I lived in. When I moved in I asked if I could adopt a pug and I was told no dogs allowed. Well I get to the building and I hear barking, I see dogs leaving other peoples apartments, the people next door to me brought home a dog one day ect ect. I call and ask why is it everyone and their uncle seem to have a dog around here yet I was told I couldnt have one. They said well those are "service dogs" for people with emotional problems. I said well I guess I am living in a f*king mental hospital then because everyone seems to have a emotional problem here!

525 days ago
117.

Athina    

Did she not have the proper paperwork on her person to show to the gate agent? Anyone could try and get on board with their pets. Just because she's a celebrity she shouldn't get a free ride. She still should have had something to show the agent. The agent also should not have yelled. Both are at fault but Kristin moreso.

525 days ago
118.

Ange    

I would like to state I'm a HUGE fan of Kristen. But there seems to be some major holes in this story. First, Kristin says she has an emotional assist animal. It's different than a traditional assist animal you see used by visually impaired people or those that suffer seizures, etc. etc. etc. So those of you asking why she has it, I'm guessing a panic disorder but that's none of my business. Second, flight attendants don't have supervisors on board. There may have been a more senior flight attendant or a "lead" that dealt with her... But not a supervisor unless it was in fact ground personel and not a flight attendant at all. And third, IF it was an emotional assist animal, she wouldn't have paid a CABIN FEE to bring her dog onboard (and she would have had her assist animal paperwork with her). What this sounds like to me is that the dog is in fact a pet being transported in the cabin and the flight attendant told her to stow her cute doggie while on the airplane. Legally this has to be done (Harvey, you should understand this!) because a non-service animal isn't trained to travel and could react to the masses of people, noises, pressurization, etc. by biting someone. I have had interesting interactions with American flight crews but this sounds like a celebrity who bought a first class ticket and thought she deserved to be treated differently than you and I. I'm sorry she cried, cuz like I said I really appreciate her amazing talent. But she knows the rules, I'm sure. Should the cabin crew have been more tactful, maybe... But were you there to see exactly how she responded to them?

525 days ago
119.

Sjango    

Only a bit.. Wh0uld say n9 to her

525 days ago
120.

Sunday    

Maybe she's afraid to fly and her dog helps to ease the fear. I know it sounds as if she coddles herself, but a lot of celebs do, so that's nothing out of the ordinary.

525 days ago
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