I’ve never put an animal in an airline’s care before, but I have friends who have. Friends of ours shipped their dogs to and from Singapore. One person took a parrot and another shipped two cats. All went well in these instances.
The situation where the dog was lost by United Airlines this past week is not common, I would guess, otherwise it wouldn’t have made it to the national news. Grant gave a Gadling heads up, and this article on ABCNews this past Monday outlines more specifics about the unfortunate situation when Jeddah, the beloved dog of John and Ronia Weisner went missing at Dulles International Airport after only an hour in the airline’s care.
If you are wondering what the statistics are for problems when shipping pets, and the airlines involved with the mishaps, check out this PDF file to Air Travel and Consumer Report published by the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings: Aviation Consumer Protection Division.
May 2008 was just posted this month. On page 38, you’ll find the recent stats for pet troubles. Here’s the summary:
No animals were lost in May.
Two were injured. (Alaska-1; Skywest-1)
Four died. (Continnental- 3; United-1)
The chart doesn’t list the specifics of the incidents, but you can click on the airline name in the chart in order to get the report summaries.
In the Weisner’s case, I can’t imagine what it must be like to have such a significant change already in ones life such as a move to Saudi Arabia for a year only to have it start out with a missing dog.