CHICAGO - A disabled veteran says he was kicked off a flight in Chicago because of his service dog. The man was on his way to Washington, D.C. for a Wounded Warrior event.
Ryan Foster says he did all the pre-registration work, such as notifying the airline days in advance that his service dog would be accompanying him. But on Wednesday after boarding his flight at O'Hare International Airport, Foster says he was asked to leave.
However, a spokesperson for the airline tells FOX 32 that Foster de-boarded on his own.
Foster says once he got on the plane, he was told to either place the dog in his lap throughout the duration of the two-hour flight or he would have to leave. Foster told police he felt he was being discriminated against.
The veteran served four years in the Marine Corps – completing over 130 combat missions in Iraq. As a result, Foster says he now suffers from PTSD and takes his 80-pound service dog "Beauty" everywhere he travels.
Foster was placed on a later flight, however during the mix up, he says he was separated from his medication, which had taken off on the initial flight.
Foster says he will miss one day of the event and a few activities.
American Airlines released the following statement:
"We are looking into what occurred, but early reports indicate that Mr. Foster and his service animal pre-boarded American Eagle flight 6179 from Chicago (ORD) to Buffalo, New York (BUF), and decided to exit the aircraft as other customers boarded and our team worked to accommodate Mr. Foster’s service animal. After exiting the aircraft, Mr. Foster and his service animal were rebooked on the next flight and are currently en route to Buffalo. Additionally, a member of our team reached out to learn more about his experience."