SEATTLE — The owners of several dogs returning from the Westminster Dog Show in New York say Delta Airlines lost their animals at JFK Airport, KOMO reported.
The dogs eventually made it home, but not without a lot of confusion and work.
Lindsay Gorder and Paris, her standard poodle, were set to fly back to Seattle following the dog show last week. But Gorder became concerned when she didn’t see Paris being loaded onto the aircraft.
Gorder said flight attendants assured her that she was mistaken – until four other people on board said they were owners of Westminster dogs, and hadn’t seen their animals, either.
“We just wanted to establish that our dogs where still on there, that’s all we wanted to do,” said Lindsay’s husband Greg. “They couldn’t do it, wouldn’t do it.”
The plane sat at the gate for an hour, FlyerTalk reported. Then Delta admitted that they didn’t know where any of the five dogs were.
Owners were given a choice of flying home without their dogs or waiting for a flight the next day. Jenny Dawson, an owner who chose to stay in New York, told KOMO that Delta eventually presented her with an empty crate and informed her that her dog was already onboard a flight headed to Seattle.
“I was livid,” Dawson told the station. “It was like, really, can you not look in there and see there is no dog?”
After four hours, Delta finally delivered most of the dogs to the terminal, while the others were eventually reunited with their owners at their destinations, KOMO said.
A Delta spokesman debated some of the passengers’ story. He told reporters that the dogs were never left completely alone – they just “missed their flight,” so to speak. He added that there was not enough room for all of the animals in the cargo hold, so some might have been shuffled to crafts other than their owners’
Air travel experts said this should serve as a reminder to dog owners that pets are considered luggage and may be moved to other flights for logistical reasons.