Tara Reid Denies Being Removed From Delta Flight, Offers Inconsistent Version of Events
Update 10/17/18 2:11pm: A Delta spokesperson told TPG that the comments in Tara Reid's statement are inconsistent with what the airline's flight attendants and crew onboard told the airline about the incident. The airline says Reid's behavior was unruly and disruptive during boarding, push back and taxi, so the crew deemed her unfit to fly and returned the plane to the gate.
Actress Tara Reid is speaking out after video of her leaving a Delta flight before takeoff on Monday morning went viral. Reid says the incident occurred because the flight attendant asked her to put her emotional support dog in the overhead bin in a statement that offers an inconsistent version of events.
Video of the 42-year-old actress, first obtained by TMZ, shows a Delta employee speaking to Reid at her seat, telling her she needs to gather her belongings and get off the plane. The video then shows Reid walking off the aircraft carrying a small dog with her.
On Wednesday, Reid posted a statement regarding the video, saying that she decided to deplane after the flight attendant wouldn't allow her registered emotional support dog fly with her in the cabin.
"I had pre-arranged flight plans to bring my 3-month-old puppy dog with me which is my emotional support dog," Reid said in the statement posted to Instagram. A picture of the dog's emotional support ID was also attached to the statement. The statement continues on to say that the flight attendant wanted Reid to put her puppy in the aircraft overhead bin, and then in the cargo hold "in the belly of the plane."
The airline maintains that Reid's version is inconsistent with the flight attendants' account of the incident -- that she was unruly from the beginning of the boarding process.
The idea of a dog in the overhead bin is especially sensitive because back in March, a puppy died on a United flight after it was placed in its carrier in the overhead bin. After the incident, United said that "pets should never be placed in the overhead bin" because proper airflow doesn't reach inside the bins. Dogs — and other animals — travel regularly in carriers in the cargo hold, but pet injuries and deaths happen in the hold, too.
Delta's emotional support animal policy says "service and support animals are expected to be seated in the floor space below a passenger’s seat or seated in a passenger’s lap." The airline's policy also states that passengers need to complete the required paperwork before the flight, and "the size of the animal must not exceed the 'footprint' of the passenger’s seat."
The airline originally said that the New York-bound flight returned to the gate at LAX "due to a customer disturbance on board," but did not say what caused the incident. The airline also apologized to the other passengers onboard the flight who were delayed because of the matter.