my dog died on Continental Airlines

 
Old Jul 14, 2005, 7:45 am
  #1  
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my dog died on Continental Airlines

I was searching around the internet and came up with this site. I really just want some advice on how others feel about this situation.

I was flying from Virginia to LAX with my two dogs. Normally I would never consider it, but I moved from Virginia to California and this seemed to make the most sense. I thought it would be easier on them than a 5 day road trip.

When I first contacted Quik Pak I was reasonably assured that animals receive special treatment, however at National the check in was just the baggage dept and he admitted to me he had never checked in a dog before. He took over three hours just to do the paperwork (he had to keep calling a supervisor for instruction) and we missed the flight. I had to pay Super Shuttle (expensive) to take myself, my daughter, and the two dogs in kennels to a Motel 6 (the only one that would take the dogs). We were told we could go the next morning. That could not happen as there were human remains on that flight and we had to wait 24 hours to take the same flight the next day. Again, another ride on Super Shuttle and paying an extra day in the motel as it was an evening flight.

I followed every instruction to the letter. They both had ice as requested, as well as USDA health certificates.

A thunderstorm blew in and we sat on the runway for an hour and forty minutes. During that time it was horribly hot where we were with no air or lights as the pilot was conserving fuel. I cannot imagine what it was underneath and I could hear my dogs crying. Horrible.

When we arrived in Houston, we happened to be sitting over the cargo hold door. We saw them take out one kennel and throw it (empty) into the back of a truck. The other with our 1 yr old went in a van to Quik Pak.

My dog had broken out of her kennel. We ran to Quik Pak and found our 1yr old in his kennel with not a drop of water. The heat must have been unbearable. I was told I could not go out and call her(she would have come to me) due to Federal Regulations. They chased her for an hour and when finally caught and put in her kennel, she was covered in blood. Her feet were burnt and bleeding and she had suffered a heat stroke. I do not understand why they could not have driven me out to get her. She may have lived.

She was taken to a local animal hospital and died two hours later. Her body temp was 106 when she was brought in, and was not moving and not using her back legs at all. The vet informed me that had she survived she would have been most likely brain damaged.

The first person I spoke with seemed sympathetic, however the person they gave me to who would be handling this was very short with me, and she seemed to act as if it were no big deal. This has been very distressing as I loved my dog and the airline seems to act as if she was a piece of luggage.

They really have offered little as to any kind of compensation- emotional or otherwise and I am in a quandry as to what to do. I thought maybe if I posted here, someone might have some suggestions on how to deal with this. I am not the type of person to go running to an attorney, yet I really feel that this whole event and my contact with Continental since could have been handled much better. A little compassion would have gone a long way

I would love your thoughts.
Thanks
dawndreamn is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:05 am
  #2  
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I'm so sorry to read about your loss.

There are similar stories to yours other places on the Internet. Many carriers have stop transporting pets in the cargo holds during summer as a result. I've heard carriers have been fined under the Animal Welfare Act. The USDA is supposed to enforce the act. You might want to get in touch with your local office. You may want to share your story with the media too, if anything, to make others aware of the risks.
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:09 am
  #3  
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Welcome to Flyertalk. I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

This forum is used for get-togethers and congratulation notices for members of the community. There are other forums that might be more suitable with folks that can answer your questions like the Continental forum or TravelBuzz. The moderator will move the post for you.

You might want to contact animal watch group type organizations and ask for their advice, if they offer guidelines for flying with your pets. Good luck and my condolences.
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:09 am
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This is horrible. I'm sorry for your loss. Definitely contact the media, and you may also want to contact the ASPCA.
chtiet is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:15 am
  #5  
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I am sorry for posting in the wrong place. This is new and I need advice.

Thanks for the responses. I will contact the USDA here locally to see what I can find out. Maybe talking to the media (where would I start?) is a good idea. The airline promised everything was safe and it definately was not.
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:18 am
  #6  
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I'd call or email Dr. Jerry Depoyster
301-734-7586
[email protected]

He's a vet with the USDA and works on developing the guidelines for the airlines. If he can't help you, he should be able to give you someone who can.

You may want to read the Animal Welfare Act. The sections that would apply are 3.13-3.19 . http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/w.../9cfr3_03.html

Also, give the city desk a call at the local paper (I first said the LA Times, but did your dog die in Houston?). Call your paper in VA too. I'd talk to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Last edited by l etoile; Jul 14, 2005 at 8:31 am
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:18 am
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I'm really sorry to hear of your loss. Others above have had good suggestions, and I'm sure once this gets moved to the CO forum, you'll get some helpful responses from people over there on dealing with CO as well. My condolences.
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:36 am
  #8  
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As a Community forum moderator, let me add my welcome too. It is never pleasant to join FlyerTalk under these stressful times for you and we all understand your feelings of loss and frustration. But our members' interests are so large and many are constantly in travel status that we divide things up into different forums to find key info quickly. Let me move this seamlessly to the Continental Airlines forum for continued discussion. We hope you'll benefit from FlyerTalk -- and that we will benefit from your travel experiences, as well. It's this mutual exchange that makes this the top travel community it is. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator.
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:44 am
  #9  
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Again, I am sorry for posting in the wrong place. Where is the Continental Airlines forum please?
thanks
dawndreamn is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:46 am
  #10  
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your thread was moved by a moderator to the Continental Forum. You find it by clicking on Miles&Points, then Airline Programs, Continental OnePass.

Sorry to hear what happened to your dog
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 8:54 am
  #11  
 
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First of all, let me offer my condolences. Thats just an AWFUL story and as dog owner, I couldnt possibly imagine going through what you did. Ironically, in Julys edition of CO's on-board magazine Larry writes about how wonderful CO is to travelling pets. It can be found here

I would cut and paste that URL onto any email that you send to CO corporate. If you really feel that this could have been avoided and wasnt a tragic accident, I would get the local press involved.
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 9:03 am
  #12  
 
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Unhappy Shocking.

dawndreamn, allow me to also express the sympathy shared by others over your recent loss.

Should I find myself in your position, I doubt I could fathom words that would adequately describe my anger and frustration regarding the sad events.

There are three standard avenues (that I know of) you can pursue towards voicing your concern. Continental has a toll-free number, 800-WECARE2, additionally Continental's CEO, Larry Kellner, holds a good record, as reported by other members of FlyerTalk, for addressing customers concerns. Finally, there is the Aviation Consumer Protection Division that is managed by the Federal Government. I would strongly suggest you file a complaint with the Aviation Consumer Protection Division in addition to voicing your experience to the 800 number, Kellner, or both.

Also, be sure to check back here throughout the next few days as many other, more knowledgeable members, will have other prudent ideas.
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 9:06 am
  #13  
 
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sorry

WE were unfortunate to Fly with continental too. Although we didnt have your missfortune, we stayed put for nearly 4 hours and were only given a small sip of water to drink. I hate to think what any animals would be like in the hold
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Old Jul 14, 2005, 9:06 am
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Someone should post for you Larry Kellener's (CEO of Continental) and you should email his office directly.

Sorry for your loss
otralot is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2005, 9:12 am
  #15  
 
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Larry's email:

[email protected]
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