Monkey misunderstanding: owner shares his side in Frontier flight mix-up


    Monkey business! Meet Gizmo, who stirred all that trouble on a Las Vegas-bound Frontier Airlines flight last week (Nathan O'Neal | KSNV)

    A monkey mystery hit headlines after reports of a monkey boarding a Frontier Airlines flight from Columbus, Ohio to Las Vegas, shocking the crew and passengers during the mid-flight discovery.

    Surveillance video captured the moment Jason Ellis and his four-year-old Marmoset Gizmo went through security screening. There was no problem there.

    "The TSA guys loved him," Ellis said. "They couldn't get enough."

    A flight attendant spotted the tiny animal poking its head out of Ellis's shirt.

    "I didn't tell anybody on the plane that I had him ... I was the last one on. I was rushing," Ellis said. "Usually, it's on the roster but it wasn't because of the miscommunication on my behalf."

    RELATED LINK | Airport mystery: How did a monkey end up on a plane to Las Vegas?

    However, it turns out that Gizmo is an emotional support animal. Ellis even had the paperwork for it, but couldn't access it without internet on the plane.

    "It's a comfort feeling because he needs me just as much as I need him," Ellis said.

    Gizmo did get loose during his big interview with News 3 -- not once, but twice -- but Ellis says it just wasn't that way on the plane.

    "No, he was never really loose," Ellis said. "He was just tied up in his bag, sleeping, and just as take-off I put him in my shirt in a blanket."

    Ellis is still trying to get adjusted to all of the attention his adventure with Gizmo has gotten.

    "It's like ... whoa, so I wanted to get my side of the story out there," Ellis said.

    He says it boils down to a misunderstanding.

    In the meantime, Ellis will keep Gizmo close by ... for support.

    "He's calm," Ellis said. "He keeps me calm and it's hard to explain but that's all I got for that."

    Ellis says he has taken measures to make sure that whenever he travels in the future, his monkey will also show up in the system. That way, hopefully, this mix-up won't happen again.

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