Delta is now implicated in the unnerving string of recent dog mishaps that's rattled America's skies. On Saturday, the airline was supposed to send a six-week-old dog named Ren from a breeder in Virginia to Boise, Idaho. Instead, the poor pup went to Detroit, where it spent the night, only to be again misrouted to Las Vegas, then flown through Salt Lake City before finally reaching its new owners in Boise. At least it arrived alive.
The little dog involved in this incident wasn't the only one traumatized. In a Facebook post (no longer available), Josh Schlaich said that he and his family were expecting their new puppy on Saturday, but when they got to the Delta cargo area to discover that a different dog had been delivered. The NBC affiliate in Boise reports that it was one of Ren's litter mates, not Ren, that showed up at the airport. Schlaich called Delta immediately but was not pleased with the response. He wrote in the now-deleted Facebook post:
Was then given the number of the boarding facility - a disconnected line. Was not given a call back number by Detroit person, and the customer service would not give me their direct line. Tried calling Delta Cargo customer service, only to be yelled at by the rep and hung up on. No idea where my dog is, or what conditions he'll be placed under for the next 24 or more hours. Don't know when he will come into Boise tomorrow. No idea who to call. Absolutely ridiculous customer service.
Teeny puppy Ren, who appears to be a white and brindle pit bull, arrived safely on Sunday evening. Delta says it gave the dog food and water during it's 36-plus hour trip from Virginia to Detroit to Las Vegas to Salt Lake City to Boise. The company also released a statement:
We know pets are important members of the family and apologise for the delayed shipment of a dog, which is now in the hands of its owner, after it was routed to the wrong destination. We have fully refunded the shipping costs and have initiated an immediate review procedures to understand what happened.
But can you imagine? Schlaich and his family showed up at the airport after a string of scary dog accidents plagued United Airlines. First, there was the United flight attendant who made a passenger store her French bulldog puppy in the overhead bin, where the dog later died. A few days later, United mistakenly sent a dog to Japan, when it was actually supposed to go to Kansas. And then, United had to reroute a flight en route to St. Louis, after discovering there was a dog on board that was supposed to be flying to Akron, Ohio. This all happened in one week.
While airlines like United still struggled with animals dying on board its flights, Delta actually has a comparatively good track record. After poor baby Ren's five-city tour of the American heartland, you have to wonder if flying with a dog is just a doomed endeavour this month.