Delta just lost my dog

Old Nov 23, 07, 11:21 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 2,733
Angry Delta just lost my dog

Yes, you read the title correctly. I am absolutely thunderstruck, dumbstruck, and appalled that any airline, let alone Delta, could allow that to happen.

Background: a close friend of mine recently moved from ANC to BUF. She wasn't sure until the last minute if she could take her dog with her. So, I offered to help as best I could. I arranged to travel with the dog from Anchorage to PDX yesterday (Thanksgiving day) on AS, and then ship the dog by herself on DL to BUF via ATL.

The AS leg went well enough with no problems. I took her to the DL cargo facility in PDX this morning and filled out all the paperwork, made sure the crate had "BUF" plastered all over it, verified that the cargo labels all had the correct flight info on it (DL 1288, connecting to DL 1494), and sent her on her way.

Sure enough, I get the call about an hour ago and she's not in Buffalo. After dealing with three extraordinarly unhelpful people at DL cargo, one of whom even had the audacity to try and sign me up for a Delta American Express credit card after this, I gave up and called PDX cargo where a thinking, intellingent human being graciously tracked down what happened and apologized profusely.

As it turns out, a two and a half hour layover in ATL just isn't long enough for DL to transfer a dog from gate B32 to B2. Both flights were on time. Long story short, DL flat-out screwed up and doesn't have the balls to say it to my face. So, poor Misty is now spending the night at the Atlanta pet facility, which I suspect is hardly akin to a Doggy Hilton, most likely scared s**tless, all thanks to some astounding ineptness by DL in ATL.

The "New Delta" just ensured that "Chugach's Business", both human and canine, is staying with AS and CO for a long time to come.



Chugach is offline  
Old Nov 23, 07, 11:34 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: HH Diamond, IHG Gold, Hyatt something
Posts: 27,352
Lost my dog?

Originally Posted by Chugach View Post
Yes, you read the title correctly. I am absolutely thunderstruck, dumbstruck, and appalled that any airline, let alone Delta, could allow that to happen.

Background: a close friend of mine recently moved from ANC to BUF. She wasn't sure until the last minute if she could take her dog with her.
Let see, it wasn't your dog, but your friends. It's not lost, but just missed it's connection for whatever reason. I have no idea what a normal connection time is, but they should have certainly notified you or your friend. Thumbs down for DL Cargo, for sure. Thumbs slightly down for you for overblowing the thread title and content.
Jaimito Cartero is offline  
Old Nov 23, 07, 11:42 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 2,733
Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Let see, it wasn't your dog, but your friends. It's not lost, but just missed it's connection for whatever reason. I have no idea what a normal connection time is, but they should have certainly notified you or your friend. Thumbs down for DL Cargo, for sure. Thumbs slightly down for you for overblowing the thread title and content.


Excuse me for not wanting to post the entire details of my personal life on the internet for the world to see. There's more than I wanted to publicly share; if you're that demanding for me to backup my story, PM me.
Chugach is offline  
Old Nov 23, 07, 11:48 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: HH Diamond, IHG Gold, Hyatt something
Posts: 27,352
Arf, arf, wooooof!

Originally Posted by Chugach View Post
Excuse me for not wanting to post the entire details of my personal life on the internet for the world to see. There's more than I wanted to publicly share; if you're that demanding for me to backup my story, PM me.
The dog is not lost. Delta did not lose it. It missed it's connection, and is not roaming the tarmac, or riding Marta and begging for treats. If you have joint custody of the dog, great! How difficult is that to communicate through a post, by saying, I sent our dog to my ex GF, BF, Partner etc.

Just as adults miss connections, so do luggage and pets. I'm not excusing the lack of communication on DL's part. Your title is misleading, as many of these Chicken Little threads seem to be. Hopefully your friend will receive the pooch tomorrow in good shape.

From Deltas Pet Traveling web page:

If your pet's journey takes it on more than one airline, there are some additional considerations you'll want to think about ahead of time. Arrange for your pet's flights to allow for plenty of extra time to change planes—because your pet can't just sprint to the next gate or airport terminal the way you can.
Jaimito Cartero is offline  
Old Nov 23, 07, 11:52 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dixie
Programs: DL Plat, BA Silver, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,867
I understand your frustration completely. Transporting a pet can be very stressful. Some ailines don't understand that pets can be loved as much as children. DL is one of them. They did a terrible job transporting my dog from ATL to FCO a couple of years ago.

When the dog died (of natural causes-at home), I decided that I would not have a pet for the first time in my life solely because I could not handle the stress of transporting it to various places around the world. Not fair to the pet, not fair to me.

I would never have transported the animal without being on the flight. There were several times with DL in the past where I had to threaten to walk off the plane (and delaying its departure for 30 minutes while my bags were off-loaded) because the only checked luggage not to be on board was the dog.

It was amazing how quickly they would "find" my dog to avoid a late departure.
Kibison is offline  
Old Nov 23, 07, 11:55 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: BNA
Posts: 2,076
Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Let see, it wasn't your dog, but your friends. It's not lost, but just missed it's connection for whatever reason. I have no idea what a normal connection time is, but they should have certainly notified you or your friend. Thumbs down for DL Cargo, for sure. Thumbs slightly down for you for overblowing the thread title and content.
Agreed, on all counts.

OP, not sure what your personal life has to do with a dog missing it's connection. Regardless, it seems like airline workers would give at least some sort of priority to things that are alive, if for no other reason than to minimize the possiblity of it dying while in his or her possession.
chuckd is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 12:09 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 2,733
Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
The dog is not lost. Delta did not lose it. It missed it's connection, and is not roaming the tarmac, or riding Marta and begging for treats. If you have joint custody of the dog, great! How difficult is that to communicate through a post, by saying, I sent our dog to my ex GF, BF, Partner etc.

Just as adults miss connections, so do luggage and pets. I'm not excusing the lack of communication on DL's part. Your title is misleading, as many of these Chicken Little threads seem to be. Hopefully your friend will receive the pooch tomorrow in good shape.

From Deltas Pet Traveling web page:

If your pet's journey takes it on more than one airline, there are some additional considerations you'll want to think about ahead of time. Arrange for your pet's flights to allow for plenty of extra time to change planesóbecause your pet can't just sprint to the next gate or airport terminal the way you can.
Sigh. As for your comments on the way I relayed this story, as I said before, PM me; If the moderators agree with you and think I'm misleading Flyertalk, then they can change the thread title and I won't mind one bit.

The quote that you pulled from the DL website is one that I read even before I called DL cargo to make the reservation. DL gave me no information on what a minimum connection would be, but my hunch is that they wouldn't have even made the reservation for the dog if that didn't meet a legal connection time for pets traveling alone.

Right now my main irritant is how un-communicative DL was about this. I have confirmation from PDX cargo, who called ATL for me, that the dog was fed and watered, so I'm not worried about that. Honestly, now I'm wondering if they'll remember to send her to BUF in the morning; granted that is a bit of an over-reaction on my part, but after getting the run-around from them tonight I think it's a valid concern. Time will tell.

Originally Posted by Kibison View Post
I understand your frustration completely. Transporting a pet can be very stressful. Some ailines don't understand that pets can be loved as much as children. DL is one of them. They did a terrible job transporting my dog from ATL to FCO a couple of years ago.

When the dog died (of natural causes-at home), I decided that I would not have a pet for the first time in my life solely because I could not handle the stress of transporting it to various places around the world. Not fair to the pet, not fair to me.

I would never have transported the animal without being on the flight. There were several times with DL in the past where I had to threaten to walk off the plane (and delaying its departure for 30 minutes while my bags were off-loaded) because the only checked luggage not to be on board was the dog.

It was amazing how quickly they would "find" my dog to avoid a late departure.
I'm sorry to hear about that, and after today I can definitely relate. I think the biggest mistake on my part was trusting DL (or any other airline) to successfully transport her on her own. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have just taken her to BUF myself.
Chugach is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 12:13 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 2,733
Originally Posted by chuckd View Post
Regardless, it seems like airline workers would give at least some sort of priority to things that are alive, if for no other reason than to minimize the possiblity of it dying while in his or her possession.
Agreed. Maybe there is some reason that they are choosing not to tell me, but until the details unfold I am a little baffled that they couldn't accomplish this with a two hour connection.
Chugach is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 1:17 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: ATH
Programs: DL GM,US GP,Hilton Dia,Marriott Pla
Posts: 43
About a year ago we shipped our pet (unaccompanied) via DL and couldn't have had a better experience.

Our pet went CHS-ATL-DTW with a 2 hour layover in ATL. The cargo people at CHS were great and knowledgeable while the staff in DTW were just as great.

NW has a direct CHS-DTW flight and everything was booked via their special pet number. Upon arrival at the airport 3 hours early, I was informed by NW counter staff and station manager that they don't accept unaccompanied pets - after the pet reservation specialist said it was no problem on the phone.

The DL counter and cargo staff were great! They were able to get our pet on a flight that day and the cost was considerably cheaper. I initially didn't look at them because of the layover vs. direct routing but for future travel, DL lift a great impression.

For the OP, I sympathize with your situation.
OpieGr is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 4:22 am
  #10  
coz
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: DL GM
Posts: 468
Originally Posted by Kibison View Post
I understand your frustration completely. Transporting a pet can be very stressful. Some ailines don't understand that pets can be loved as much as children. DL is one of them. They did a terrible job transporting my dog from ATL to FCO a couple of years ago.

When the dog died (of natural causes-at home), I decided that I would not have a pet for the first time in my life solely because I could not handle the stress of transporting it to various places around the world. Not fair to the pet, not fair to me.

I would never have transported the animal without being on the flight. There were several times with DL in the past where I had to threaten to walk off the plane (and delaying its departure for 30 minutes while my bags were off-loaded) because the only checked luggage not to be on board was the dog.

It was amazing how quickly they would "find" my dog to avoid a late departure.
Personally, if I was another passenger on one of your flights, I would have rather your dog missed its connection and arrived a few hours later than causing all 300 other passengers to wait 15 minutes so that they can make sure that your dog made the flight.

People miss flights because of delays and people miss connections because of delays. Luggage doesn't make it. I don't see why your dog should an entire flight should be held up waiting for one persons dog--even if it is Delta's fault that it did not get on board.

Did I go to far? Ducking now to avoid the flames....
coz is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 4:38 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: 27 minutes north of EWR (on a good day)
Programs: UA PLAT, SPG PLAT. Collector of Chase UR points
Posts: 11,527
As a fellow pet owner, I understand your frustrations. Delta owed you at the very least a phone call when the pet missed the connection. That is inexcusable. By no means should you have had to make the first phone call (three of four times)
jrzyshawn is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 4:50 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Washington, DC (DCA)
Programs: UA, AA, AS, SPG.
Posts: 3,463
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8830/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

I'm not making excuses for Delta here and I am surprised it couldn't make a 2 hour connection but even I won't schedule myself on the last flight out if it is important to get to my destination on time. Clearly it was extermely important for the dog to reach BUF that day. You mentioned Delta is taking care of the dog. Is that to assume it is in a kennal with food and water and given an oppertunity to do its business. Sadly I have seen waaaaaay to many horror stories to put my pet in the cargo hold of a commercial airline (for that thank god I'm a cat person)
uva185 is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 5:37 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Dixie
Programs: DL Plat, BA Silver, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,867
Originally Posted by coz View Post
Personally, if I was another passenger on one of your flights, I would have rather your dog missed its connection and arrived a few hours later than causing all 300 other passengers to wait 15 minutes so that they can make sure that your dog made the flight.

People miss flights because of delays and people miss connections because of delays. Luggage doesn't make it. I don't see why your dog should an entire flight should be held up waiting for one persons dog--even if it is Delta's fault that it did not get on board.

Did I go to far? Ducking now to avoid the flames....
Yes, it is a selfish thing to do but I really did not consider it my fault but rather the fault of Delta.

How many times have you missed a connection because the aircraft was held for late arriving passengers?

These things happen. I loved my little doggie and I would have been frantic if the little guy had to spend the night in the airport with strangers. Yep, I was a nut with that dog.
Kibison is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 6:33 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Alabama
Programs: DL GM
Posts: 158
Originally Posted by coz View Post
Personally, if I was another passenger on one of your flights, I would have rather your dog missed its connection and arrived a few hours later than causing all 300 other passengers to wait 15 minutes so that they can make sure that your dog made the flight.
My flight from ATL to SEA in October was diverted to another departure gate in ATL after waiting for a 757 to pull back. The 757 captain would not leave until a dog that was missing was tracked down and put on the flight. We waited in the terminal for about 30 minutes before DL gave up and sent our arriving plane to another gate--the 757 didn't leave until it was about an hour and a half late. The change in equipment (our arriving plane ended up at a different gate than we were sent to) we then experienced led to 2 more gate changes and a delay of about 3.5 hours for our flight to SEA--in fact the next flight to SEA left before ours (and yes, I tried to get on it as standby but it was full).
Frodosan is offline  
Old Nov 24, 07, 6:46 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Greater DC
Programs: UA plus
Posts: 12,940
There are some real unsympathetic posters on this thread, many of whom I'd guess never had an animal they were close to (left that one open as this is a friend's animal not the OPs).

Regardless, DL screwed up major on this one - no excuses. The animal should have made that connection, and BUF staff should have known the status and helped the OPs friend, without the OP needing to track the dog down.

JC - the OP clearly stated he flew with the dog on Airline A, then put the animal on the DL flights the next day. Your excerpt from DLs website is irrelevant as the dog flew on ONE airline via ATL, not two.

For everyone's lack of concern regarding a missed connection, "big deal, I've had it happen often" - I'd like to remind you guys that you have money in your pocket, a cell phone likely and can TALK with the gate agent regarding your needs and change in plans to know your options and set your expectations. The animal is in a CAGE, in a STRANGE environment unsure of what's happening or where it's going, no one familiar is around - likely no one there to be nice to him either and who knows what food will be available for the animal (my cat is an extremely picky eater and doesn't eat just anything, although I've seen fewer dogs with that affliction).

This situation is nothing but an altogether frightening experience for the animal and a stressful one for any pet owner that loves their animals ... Hope the animal makes it to BUF tomorrow
GoingAway is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: