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Posted: March 21, 2018

Delta under fire after flying a puppy to the wrong airport

FILE PHOTO: A Delta airlines plane is seen on the tarmac of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. (Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: A Delta airlines plane is seen on the tarmac of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. (Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta Air Lines is coming under heat after accidentally flying a puppy to the wrong airport.

>> United suspends pet cargo service in wake of mix-ups, dog death

Josh Schlaich posted about the incident on Facebook over the weekend when he was trying to figure out where the 8-week-old puppy was. He was supposed to pick up the puppy at the airport in Boise, Idaho. But instead he got a message from a Delta rep at the Detroit airport saying the puppy would be sent to a boarding location because of a flight delay.

>> Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

After misrouting and confusion, the puppy was eventually delivered safely and “seems happy and healthy,” Schlaich posted later in the weekend.

But the incident has drawn national attention, in the wake of an incident in which a puppy died in an overhead bin on United Airlines.

Delta issued a statement after the incident: “We know pets are important members of the family and apologize for the delayed shipment of a dog, which is now in the hands of its owner, after it was routed to the wrong destination. Delta teams worked quickly to reunite the dog and his owner, while remaining in constant contact with the customer throughout the process to update him on the status of his pet.”

>> Read more trending news 

The airline said it refunded the shipping costs and started a review of the incident.

Dog Placed in Overhead Bin, Dies During Flight


Related

United suspends pet cargo service in wake of mix-ups, dog death

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

United suspends pet cargo service in wake of mix-ups, dog death

United Airlines is suspending its PetSafe pet cargo program while it reviews the program. 

The suspension comes after a series of pet-related incidents, including one death, on the airline.

>> Read more trending news 

The Chicago Tribune reported that United will honor reservations that have already been confirmed for the service, which books pets in the cargo section of the plane.

“We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets,” United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the airline will stop taking reservations for the program until May 1.

Related: Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

Spokesman Charlie Hobart told Bloomberg that part of the review of the program includes the airline considering which pets to accept. Bloomberg reported that United had previously been willing to transport dogs with an increased likelihood of in-flight death or injury, such as brachycephalic, of snub-nosed dogs.

On March 12, a French bulldog puppy died on a flight from Houston to New York when its owners said a United flight attendant insisted the pet be stored in an overhead bin. United issued a statement saying it took “full responsibility” for the death.

“This was a tragic accident that should have never occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” United said in a statement March 13. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Related: ‘She took him out and he was dead:’ Owners of dog that died in United overhead bin speak out

On Tuesday, a German shepherd named Irgo was mistakenly flown to Japan in place of a Great Dane. Irgo was supposed to go to Kansas, where his family was moving from Oregon. The dog was reunited with his family Thursday.

Related: Dog mistakenly sent on United plane to Japan reunites with family in Kansas

On Friday, the airline mistakenly had a pet boarded on a flight from Newark, New Jersey, to St. Louis. Flight 3996 was diverted to Akron, Ohio, when the error was realized, according to airline spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin. The animal was “safely delivered to its owner.” Compensation aas given to passengers on the diverted flight.

According to data from the Department of Transportation, United Airlines had the highest rate of airline reports on incidents involving loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation in 2017.

Dog mistakenly sent on United plane to Japan reunites with family in Kansas

A dog that was accidentally sent to Japan instead of Kansas City, Missouri, on a United Airlines flight is back home.

The Wichita Eagle reported that Irgo the German shepherd returned to his family on a private charter plane on Thursday. It was a 12-hour flight.

>> Read more trending news 

On Tuesday, Kara and Joseph Swindle and their family were moving from Oregon to Kansas and took a United flight to Kansas City. Irgo, their 10-year-old German shepherd, was supposed to be at the airline’s cargo area, but he was not there.

The family told KCTV that it was met with a Great Dane dog instead of Irgo. The Great Dane was supposed to be in Japan, but Irgo was sent instead.

Related: United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City

Kara Swindle said United Airlines told her it didn’t know how the mistake happened. The airline paid for the family to stay at an airport near the hotel Tuesday.

“An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations,” a spokesperson for United said in a statement. “We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened.”

Related: ‘She took him out and he was dead:’ Owners of dog that died in United overhead bin speak out

Joseph Swindle told The Wichita Eagle that United Airlines flew Irgo on a private plane to Eisenhower National Airport. 

The mix-up is the latest incident involving an animal on a United Airlines flight. On Monday, a dog died when a United flight attendant insisted the dog be placed in an overhead bin

United Airlines has another pet-related glitch 

United Airlines acknowledged its third animal-related mistake in a week, as a flight from Newark to St. Louis was diverted to Akron, Ohio when a pet was loaded onto the flight by mistake, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

United is already under scrutiny after one dog died in an overhead bin and another was accidentally flown to Japan.

>> Dog dies on United Airlines flight

On Friday, the airline announced that Flight 3996 was diverted to Akron after officials discovered the animal was on the flight bound for St. Louis, airline spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said. The pet was supposed to be on a plane traveling from Newark to Akron, CNN reported.

United told CNN the unidentified animal was "safely delivered to its owner." Airline officials said it offered compensation to all passengers.

>> United mistakenly flies dog to Japan

"As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident. We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support," United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said. 

United Airlines mistakenly flies dog to Japan instead of Kansas City

United Airlines is under fire again after a family said the carrier accidentally sent their dog to Japan instead of Kansas City.

>> RELATED STORY: Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

According to KCTV, Kara Swindle and her family, who are moving from Oregon to Kansas, took a United flight to Kansas City. Their dog, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo, was supposed to be waiting in a United cargo facility when they arrived. 

But that wasn't the case.

When the Swindles went to pick up Irgo, they were greeted by a Great Dane instead, KCTV reported Wednesday. They soon learned that the airline had mixed up the two dogs and mistakenly flew Irgo to Japan, the Great Dane's intended destination.

>> Read more trending news 

In a statement, United told KCTV: "An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened."

Irgo will be returned to the Swindles "later this week," KCTV reported.

The news comes the same week another family's dog died on a United flight after a flight attendant reportedly said the pet had to travel in an overhead bin.

Read more here.

  Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin
 

Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin

United Airlines has “assumed full responsibility” for the death of a passenger’s dog after it was placed in an overhead bin.

ABC News reported that a passenger made a graphic post on Facebook about the incident. According to June Lara, the passenger, a mother and two daughters were boarding a flight with a black French bulldog when a flight attendant said the dog would need to be in the overhead bin.

>> Read more trending news 

“I sat behind the family of three and thought myself lucky - who doesn't when they get to sit near a puppy? However, the flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water,” the post said. “They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow. They assured the safety of the family's pet so wearily, the mother agreed.”

Related: ‘She took him out and he was dead:’ Owners of dog that died in United overhead bin speak out

Another passenger, Maggie Gremminger, told People a flight attendant told the dog owner to move the carrier her dog was in.

“The flight attendant told the passenger that her bag was blocking part of the aisle. I could not see it, as I was already in my seat, but it sounded like it was somehow not completely fitting beneath the seat in front of her,” according to Gremminger. “After the flight attendant asked her to move it above, the woman adamantly refused, communicating her dog was in the bag. There was some back and forth before finally the flight attendant convinced her to move the carrier to the bin above.”

Gremminger said the dog was barking from the overhead bin for at least 30 minutes but was dead by the time the owner went to get the dog when the plane landed.

According to social media posts from Laura and Gremminger, the flight was from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to LaGuardia Airport in New York. The flight was nearly 4 and half hours. 

United Airlines issued the following statement about the incident:

“This was a tragic accident that should have never occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” United said in a statement. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

The Department of Transportation lists United as having the highest rate of airline reports on incidents involving loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation. Of 40 total incidents involving animal loss, injury or death in 2017, 18 incidents involved an animal’s death on United Airlines.

A spokesperson for United could not say if anyone had been disciplined in relation to the incident.

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