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Magician demands AirTran make $50,000 appear because the wouldn’t let him carry his dove on the aircraft

November 1, 2011

Who’s AirTran Airways to say a bird can’t fly?

Magician Bernard Poston of Apple Valley wants to know after the airline refused to let his bird fly last month aboard a flight from Las Vegas to the Twin Cities.

Poston, 49, who uses the bird in his act, said he had no problems carrying it in his coat aboard a Frontier Airlines flight to Las Vegas.

But on the way home, he and his dove, Magic, were banned from the AirTran flight, Poston says in a lawsuit he filed last week against the airline.

Poston, who has sued at least a dozen other companies in the past, said he had to abandon his bird in Vegas with an airport worker.

“The bird was priceless,” Poston said. “I’m talking about – it was a part of my family. The bird is worth its weight in gold. The bird – that’s what amazed the people.”

AirTran, which is based in Orlando, Fla., states on its website that passengers flying with small domesticated cats, dogs and birds must keep them in an approved carrier under their seats, said Brandy King, airline spokeswoman. The airline doesn’t check pets as baggage.

“Having loose pets is not an option, especially when you’re traveling with a bird,” King said.

Poston said he wasn’t aware of the policy about flying with pets. He said he didn’t think to travel with a cage because he didn’t know where to put it on the plane.

“The bird felt more comfortable next to me, anyway, because he likes my heart beat,” Poston said.

The bird learned how to roll over, play dead and disappear during Poston’s magic tricks, he said. Now, Poston has only Magic’s mate, a female dove named Dot.



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