Southwest airline
A Southwest airline plane is seen on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona, Sept. 19, 2016. DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images

A Colorado college student had to abandon her pet Betta fish at the Denver International Airport recently after the Southwest Airlines did not allow it in her carry-on bag. The airport authority said Wednesday the airport workers have decided to look after the fish till the girl returns.

Lanice Powless, a student at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, was traveling home to California earlier this month. The girl said she had checked the Transportation Security Administration guidelines before purchasing her pet. It usually allows carrying live fish after inspection.

“Typically I would just check in and then go through TSA and walked right on with it. No one’s ever stopped me,” she said.

However, things changed last week when a Southwest employee informed her the fish couldn’t be allowed in the flight.

"At first I was like, oh, OK. Well, I’ve always flown with my fish with Southwest. She was like, ‘Well, our policy is that you can’t have fish, only cats and dogs in crates'," Powless said, USA Today reported.

She wasn’t allowed to leave her pet at the counter nor was she allowed to look for a person who could look after it at the airport. She ended up giving it to the person standing behind her. However, the TSA officials stopped the other lady too. Powless and the fish got separated at the airport with the owner having no clue about the pet’s whereabouts.

“A Customer attempted to bring a pet fish onboard their flight from Denver to San Diego. Our Customer Service Agents informed the Customer about Southwest’s pets policy which does not allow for live fish to travel in the passenger cabin. Our Team offered to re-book the Customer for a later flight to allow them to make arrangements for their pet but the Customer refused that option. The Customer eventually traveled on their originally scheduled flight,” Southwest Airlines said in a statement.

Powless, however, had something else to say. “I would have gladly taken another flight. I was in no rush to get home, I’m on break. If they offered me a later flight to drop off my fish, that would have been totally fine with me,” she said.

The fish is now safe at the Denver International Airport.

"The fish was found at the airport last week by an airport employee and turned in to an information booth (as is common with lost and found items). Since then, our great customer service team has been taking care of Cassie until we (can) reunite him with Lanice. We’ve been in touch with Lanice and she is making arrangements to get him back,” the Denver International Airport told USA Today in a statement Wednesday.