NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Right ticket, wrong destination — by 5,000 miles!
A dog that was supposed to fly from Newark Liberty International Airport to Arizona ended up in Ireland.
Six-year-old Springer Spaniel “Hendrix,” who was named after the jet-setting rock star, endured a long journey. Like his legendary namesake Jimi, the dog is now an international traveler, but was not supposed to be.
“I was not happy,” the dog’s owner, Edith Alback, told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.
United Airlines is now in the dog house with Alback. She paid $408 for Hendrix to fly, plus $160 for the crate, while fully expecting safe transportation for the dog to Phoenix, Ariz.
But instead, the pooch wound up in lush, green Ireland.
At home last night in the Great Kills section of Staten Island, Alback was thinking her dog would land in Arizona any minute.
However, that changed when a United Airlines representative contacted her.
“Somebody called me and told me that there was something wrong with the dog, and that the dog was on its way to Ireland instead of to Phoenix,” Alback said.
In a 24-hour period, Hendrix took not one, but three flights.
One from from Newark to Shannon, Ireland that took seven hours. He then spent two hours on the ground there. Then the dog headed back from Shannon to Newark and finally from Newark to Phoenix on a five-hour flight.
“So this dog’s been in a crate since last night,” Alback said.
The airline is giving the family a refund.
“The point was they put a live animal on a plane to go internationally and it was just not called for, it was not right,” Alback said.
The dog’s situation is rare, but not unheard of. CBS 2’s Carlin headed to a local veterinary hospital to get some expert advice on the topic.
“I think you need to scrutinize the airline, make sure that you fill in paperwork appropriately — ask questions,” said veterinarian Ben Davidson.
The next time Hendrix’s owner will see him is April 1 when she joins the rest of her family — all of them are moving to Arizona.
“In the future, I’ll drive anywhere I go,” Alback said.
United Airlines has yet to figure out what happened, but the airline released this statement:
“United Airlines is committed on making travel safe and comfortable for pets. We are reviewing the circumstances and taking steps to prevent this from happening again.”
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