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Thu, Mar 21, 2013

Family Pet Loaded Onto The Wrong Flight

Flew From New Jersey To Arizona By Way Of ... Ireland

Some United Airlines baggage handler is likely in the doghouse after an English Springer Spaniel wound up flying from New Jersey to Ireland instead of to Phoenix, where its family was waiting.

Fortunately the airline quickly realized its mistake and took steps to get the dog, named Hendrix, back to owner Meridith Grant. The Associated Press reports UA Spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said Grant's mother Edith Lombardo-Albach, who was still in New York, was contacted immediately when the mistake was discovered ... about seven minutes before the plane was due to land in Phoenix.

ABC News reports that the cage carrying Hendrix was properly marked for Phoenix, where the family was in the process of moving. But a mix-up occurred and the dog flew to Shannon, Ireland for St. Patrick's' Day before finally arriving at Sky Harbor Airport.

Lombardo-Albach said that when she got the call, her husband and daughter were already at Sky Harbor airport waiting for Hendrix to arrive. The two had flown to Phoenix earlier on a U.S. Airways flight, but that airline does not accept pets as cargo, so the family made arrangements for Hendrix to fly to Phoenix on his own on United.

Hendrix had a seven-hour flight to Shannon, Ireland, a two hour layover, and then another seven-hour flight back to Newark before finally getting on a plane to Phoenix. While the airline offered the family a full refund, Lombardo-Allbach told ABC News that someone should lose their job over the mix-up. If not, "there are going to be problems," she said.

FMI: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/animals/default.aspx

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