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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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494 COMMENTS

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121.

Mark    

So why does she need a service dog??? I have seen her perform so that might explain part of it..

441 days ago
122.

StillAChick    

An "emotional support dog?" You've got to be freakin' kidding me. I am allergic to EVERYTHING with fur, and I do NOT, as a paying customer, want to be sitting next to an animal on a flight. Good for AA.

441 days ago
123.

anony    

I'M getting my own "emotional support dog." It'll be a St. Bernard or a Great Dane. Deal with THAT American Airlines.

441 days ago
124.

TMZComments    

In your own picture from last month, TMZ, the dog is in a flight carrier. This is an appropriate place for a PET.

ACAA rules allow for an emotional support dog if and only if the mental illness is so sufficient that it affects her daily life AND that the dog is necessary to have with her at all times. Since she is clearly on stage without it (and allegedly has no paperwork to support it), the gate agent was completely correct in not allowing the dog to travel as an "emotional support dog".

If Kristin identified the dog as a service dog in order to have the dog onboard without a carrier and avoid the pet fee, she has broken FEDERAL LAW. A very important federal law that is designed to protect the rights of those with legitimate disabilities.

To call her a "diva" or merely "entitled" minimizes the impact her actions have on the truly disabled. They have had to fight very hard to ensure that their rights are protected. What Kristin has done was manipulate laws designed to protect the disabled to serve herself. This is the equivalent of using your grandmother's car with handicapped plates so that you can find parking. It's disgusting and self centered.

Of course, if her emotional problems are so severe that she requires a specially trained dog to accompany her, I'm willing to apologize. But from ALL angles, it appears that this is her pet.

If it is found to be merely a pet, I hope she is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for victimizing the disabled. It's time for this nonsense to end.

441 days ago
125.

Mazor    

You shouldn't be allowed to bring a ****ing dog on a plane. "Emotional support dog"... whatta crock of ****.

441 days ago
126.

Kukai    

I was an electrician with American Airlines for 11 years at LAX, and I was fired because I have cancer and was starting to cost more than I was worth ( in their eyes). I can tell you, that company will do or say anything. You'd be better off taking another airline

441 days ago
127.

Darryl    

Yet another entitled "celebrity." You are not disabled. You don't need a service dog you twitt!

441 days ago
128.

Rose Lange    

Not sure if anyone has already said, she has an Emotional Support Dog Totally different than a Service Dog. Their only privledges are to fly on airplanes with the owner or to live somewhere dogs aren't normally allowed. Perhaps she has anxiety while flying.

441 days ago
129.

Ree    

For all you people know its a seizure dog that she needed since her head and neck injury. You don't know her medical history, nor is she obligated to broadcast it. So shut the f*** up.

441 days ago
130.

gbtw    

i love her, and she always behaves with class. the supervisor was out of line. how dare all of you people call the service dog thing bogus without even knowing the facts. there are a gazillion different kinds of service dogs- and even if it's just b/c of an anxiety thing, think about her life and how her job REQUIRES her to fly everywhere. she doesn't have the option of limiting her flight time. but, whatever, that's all speculation- and you guys are just jealous mean jerks! how dare you pick on such a sweet polite non-diva little thing as kristen.

441 days ago
131.

Peter    

To everyone who asked why she needs a Service Dog. It is none of your business. How incredibly rude of you to think that YOU have any right to information not intended for you? At the pharmacy, do people ask you why you need the prescription you are picking up? Do people have the right to ask why you are at a Dr's office? Step back and realize you don't have the facts and don't need to either.

441 days ago
132.

wildeyedsouthernboy    

I need my emotional Glock 9mm think they would allow me? mmm?

441 days ago
133.

Sharon    

She's a freakin' ACTRESS! Her bursting into tears shouldn't be a problem for her. Emotional service dog my a$$! Does she have to buy a seat for it or does it have to be stowed under the seat in front of her? Bogus bull!

441 days ago
134.

Thom in Nevada    

Is the dog a registered support animal, or just some mutt she holds on too to try to make herself look important.

My first question would have been "Just who are you again?" Nope, never heard of you.

441 days ago
135.

Deborah    

Doesn't a service dog have to have a vest or some form of identification on it so it's visible for everyone to see?

441 days ago
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