If you are already skeptical about traveling with pets, news out of Detriot via Mexico City this week certainly won’t calm your fears. Ontario man, Josiah Allen, was on his way home from Mexico with his girlfriend and their new dog Paco in tow.
While in Mexico, Josiah and his girlfriend happened upon a stray dog, took him to a vet, and got him the appropriate shots. They were all ready to return home, new family member and all. As Josiah details in his letter to the Consumerist, “[Paco] would walk by my side along the beach and along the sidewalks, went to the washroom outside, didn’t bark at cars or other dogs, and would sleep on the bed next to us curled up in a ball quite contently.” The perfect pet. Excited, Josiah and his girlfriend “quite readily paid for an airline approved pet carrier and the costs associated with checking a pet on an airplane to travel as baggage, as he was too big to be taken as carry-on.”
Everything was going swimmingly, yet when they arrived in Detriot, they were less one Paco. They waited two hours at the airport trying to solve the case of the disappearing dog when Delta finally excused that they had forgotten to load the pet, and would send him out on the next flight. Well, the next flight arrived, but Paco was still nowhere to be found.
As apology, Delta first offered Josiah a $200 flight-voucher – a reimbursement for the cost of transporting the animal. The absurdity of this response would have been quickly forgotten in the multi-layered corporate milieu of Delta’s communication system, but the Consumerist, driven to action by Josiah’s emotional account, convinced Delta to award Josiah two more $200 flight vouchers and an additional $380, the amount of fees Josiah accrued in treating poor, disappearing Paco.
Yet, for Josiah, the flight vouchers are useless, since he claims that he will never fly Delta again. And the money, while a semi-pragmatic afterthought, does little to replace the life of a breathing, eating, cuddling animal.
Delta claims the instances of animal-loss are extremely rare, the only other recent loss reported two years ago that Vivi, a winner of the Award of Merit at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, escaped from her cage. For that mistake, Delta offered Vivi’s owners $2,800 for their $20,000 whippet.