Airlines, in general, are not enjoying a moment in the sun, in terms of public relations, but United is having a difficult year by any standard. Most recently, the airline drew fire over an incident where a flight attendant forced a passenger to store a puppy in the overhead bin, causing the puppy’s death. Right on the heels of that, unfortunately, is another incident involving a dog — though, thankfully, this dog survives.
According to CNN, a 10-year-old German shepherd bound for Kansas was confused with a Great Dane heading to Japan, and the wrong dogs got on the wrong flights. This was discovered when the dog’s owner, Kara Swindle, went to the airport and found a dog she didn’t know:
Swindle said Irgo — who was flying for the first time — had no water or food on the 16-plus hours flight to Japan. Irgo is suffering from an ear infection and hasn’t had medication in three days, she said. But Irgo was examined in Japan and is OK to fly, Swindle said. She said Irgo is set to be flown from Narita, Japan, to Wichita on Thursday on a private charter.
Realistically, mistakes are going to happen. Everybody’s had luggage delayed, dealt with the inefficiency of ticketing, or discovered baggage fees at the last second. But when mistakes are made with the animals we’re attached to, who have no way to let us know if they’re okay or not, it’s a fairly terrifying experience for the owner.
Hopefully, airlines get it together soon. They may be compelled to, if Louisiana Senator John Kennedy has a say in it.