Owner of monkey calls Las Vegas-bound flight incident a 'misunde - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Owner of monkey calls Las Vegas-bound flight incident a 'misunderstanding'

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A monkey named 'Gizmo' at FOX5 on Aug. 13, 2016. (Austin Turner/FOX5) A monkey named 'Gizmo' at FOX5 on Aug. 13, 2016. (Austin Turner/FOX5)

The passenger who caused a stir when he took a monkey on a plane bound for Las Vegas said it was all a misunderstanding.

Jason Ellis and his monkey, Gizmo, made it on board a Frontier flight from Columbia, Ohio Tuesday without the airline knowing.

A spokesman for Frontier Airlines said Ellis broke policy by not informing the airline that he was bringing the service animal on the aircraft, and refused to turn over documents. 

An official with McCarran International Airport said law enforcement officials met with Ellis and determined Gizmo was a service animal. 

Ellis and Gizmo made global headlines after the incident.

“It kinda turned into something big.  It actually went worldwide,” Ellis said.

Ellis said he never smuggled Gizmo on the plane. Gizmo was carried on in a bag.

“He was in a concealed bag. It looks like a handbag. He’s never actually hurt anyone,” Ellis said.

Gizmo has been helping Ellis for the past four years as an emotional support animal. Ellis said Gizmo helps him cope with anxiety.

“He’s helped me in more ways than I can imagine. Just by interaction with other people and helping me out, but he really helps me out because I have a lot of anxiety issues,” Ellis said.

Ellis showed FOX5 the certificate for Gizmo that the Frontier ticketing clerk saw and said it was all miscommunication.

“My flight was at 9:45. I got there at 9:20. So, I rushed through there and it was a lack of communication on end and there’s,” Ellis said.

Frontier Airlines apologized for the inconvenience and offered to refund the flight, Ellis said.

Even though the ride back to Las Vegas was rocky, Ellis said Gizmo helped him through it.

“When you get a bond with an animal like that it’s unbelievable,” Ellis said.

Ellis said he is working on a foundation where he plans to use Gizmo to help others.

If you would like to contact Ellis, you can reach him by email

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