Dog Is Put on the Wrong Flight, Travels to Ireland Instead of Arizona

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A 6-year-old English Springer Spaniel named Hendrix arrived at a New Jersey airport last Thursday intending to fly to Phoenix, Ariz., but somewhere along the way, someone made a mistake, and the dog ended up on a flight to Ireland, according to ABC News.

"They marked everything Phoenix, and put the tags on Phoenix," said Hendrix's owner, Edith Lombardo-Albach. Her family is moving from New York to Arizona.



United Airlines called Lombardo-Albach minutes before Hendrix's flight was due to land, and told her the dog would not arrive. At first, she thought they were saying the dog was dead, but then they clarified that he was in Europe.

"I almost fainted," Lombardo-Albach said. "My husband and my daughter were already at the airport waiting for the dog."

Hendrix's family was not only angry about the mistake, but about the ordeal Hendrix had to go through. After a seven-hour flight from New Jersey to Ireland, he would immediately have to take another seven-hour return flight. And then he would still have to fly to Phoenix.



Lombardo-Albach stayed and watched airline staff physically put Hendrix on the correct flight to Phoenix the second time around. But she was disturbed that the dog had clearly been upset by the whole affair. "He was fighting me to put him into the crate. That's just not like him," she said.

Hendrix's family also believes United Airlines officials have lacked compassion, and they have been inadequate in their apologies over the incident. "This was a major failure on United's part," Lombardo-Albach said. "He's a member of my family and they nearly left him."

Megan McCarthy, a United Airlines spokesperson, said in a statement, "We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the situation and will take steps to prevent this from happening again. Hendrix's experience is not typical of the service we provide to the more than 100,000 pets who travel with us every year." The airline offered a refund for Hendrix's flight.

BOO IS SPOKESDOG FOR VIRGIN AIRLINES:

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playfulbrds

So yell at me also I also agree with the person who said airlines make mistakes. I have shipped exotic birds all over the US and have had to deliver them early. They were held in custom cages which were "by the standards of all airlines" one bird took 12 hrs from Fl.to Arizona and it arrived very safe and sound.. came out of its crate very happy and even talking! Every once in awhile an error is made and unfornutely it happened to you and your beloved family member. I would have been very uspet also but at the sametime happy that he came back to me... stressed but finally in my arms

March 19 2013 at 10:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

My dogs are dearly loved, and I miss them terribly when away for any period of time (even one day), but I WOULD NEVER PUT THEM ON AN AIRPLANE! Instead, I pay someone to stay at my house and walk/play/feed them when my husband and I are gone. And I take shorter vacations (never more than one week). Yes, they are animals, but they are a responsibility! (Plus no being on this earth will ever love you more kindly & completely!) Airplanes can be fatal to our dogs. Make other plans.

March 19 2013 at 6:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pearl Nestor

I've always held baggage and cargo handlers to a higher standard than TSA Agents, at least they're supposed to know how to read and write! LOL!

March 19 2013 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
douglasfee

Look folks, this is a dog. I know they have sensibilities but the they are much t0ugher than you might think. Just watch a sporting dog in action as I have (pointing, setting, retrieving) and you will appreciate a masterful creature that works with man, from a long time ago. Do not worry about the transportation, The dog will get over it if you will.
With love for dogs and their owners,
Advocate for pointers

March 19 2013 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
celerinadeleon

Actually that is not the first time what United airlines did. That happened to my dog too. They said the flight where my dog supposed to take was cancelled due to some mechanical problem but then the flight was just delayed. The flight came to Miami an hour late without my dog. Come to find out they put her on a different flight arriving very late. I was not notified about it nor the person who will pick up the dog. I mean I dropped her off 5am and arrived Miami 12 midnight.That is very tiring . I was so stressed out, she's not just a dog ,she's a member to my family.

March 19 2013 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nikki

I would strangle every official in the airline for being so damn irresponsible.

March 19 2013 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jay.gold

United breaks guitars and looses dogs....

March 18 2013 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bizzznesss

First of all if the flying public actually knew how the baggage system and cargo system worked within every airline, they would have a better understanding of how this happens. It is worse at larger airports. They all do the best they can to get the job done right but sometimes things happen. 99% of the time all the animals that are shipped from tropical fish to horses are delivered safe and sound. Don't go off on me because you think I am not caring. I have 6 members of my family that all have four legs and they ARE members of my family. I am extremely sorry that Hendrix had to endure what he did and I am thankful that he is home safe and sound. There is no telling how many hands actually touched that kennel and to fire someone over this is not a solution. No one should lose their job over this. Do you fire the groomer because they clip your dogs nails too short, Do you fire the groomer because the dog jumped and got nipped by their scissors? Do you fire the vet that could not find out exactly what was wrong with your dog? They do a very good job taking care of animals and they will continue to do so, not just United but all air carriers they all have very strict rules in place. There are those owners that do not like the restrictions the airlines have and complain about that. Like snub nosed animals can only fly under certain circumstances. Those circumstances don't always go along with the owners vacation plans so they get angry with the airline will not take the animal. There are restrictions of temperatures that the animals are allowed to even fly, but owners again get upset by that but as soon as something goes wrong they are the first to yell foul.

March 18 2013 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bizzznesss's comment
emeraldknightsky

Actually I would fire a groomer that cut my dog's nails too short. That can cause a major problem. I had a hard time taking you seriously after that statement.

March 18 2013 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Unknown Subject

At least they didn't kill it which is what usually happens.

March 18 2013 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ptltreeguy

I recently flew my dogs from the US to Costa Rica - I was MORE than prepared with 10 or so phone calls and discussions with different "Pet Safe" officials (because I got a different answer with every call) - I had a broker in Costa Rica - had talked to the customs agents that would be receiving the dog and it still was a 13 hour ordeal for the dogs!!! The "Pet Safe" checkin desk had no clue - to the point where we had arrived 3.5 hours early with the dogs for the flight - and it took so long for them to check in the pets that we almost missed our flight - ---- and the dogs were in the crates for over 12 hours - when it was a 5.3 hour direct flight! Very upsetting and disturbing - and the lack of knowledge and appreciation for the animal itself - as a member of my family was appalling!

March 18 2013 at 9:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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