It appears they were a passenger’s ‘emotional support’ companions and were too ‘distressed’ to fly.The Norwegian Air Boeing 787 was destined for Austin, Texas, and had been due to depart at 11am, but was delayed by one and a half hours.
A Norwegian Air spokesperson said the pilot decided to offload the dogs and their two owners, leaving them at the gate.
They added that the dogs had the correct papers and were cleared to fly to the US.
The trend for emotional support animals has increased rapidly in recent years, as nervous flyers find they help prevent a number of physical and mental conditions, such as high blood pressure, stress, depression and anxiety.
The spokesperson said: ‘The safety and security of our passengers and crew is always our number one priority.
‘Flight DI7181 from Gatwick to Austin had not yet departed when the captain took the decision to offload emotional support dogs and their two owners at the gate due to the dogs showing signs of distress in the cabin.’
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