Social media may have prevented a writer’s travel plans from going to the dogs.
Lachlan Markay claims that he almost wasn’t allowed to bring his dog, Lou, on an American Airlines flight from Reagan National Airport in Washington DC to Miami. After taking his complaints to social media, however, the pup was allowed to fly and Lou’s holiday was saved.
The reason why the animal initially wasn’t allowed on the flight has been disputed by the airline. Markay tweeted a photo of his dog in a bag, claiming that Lou wasn’t allowed on the plane because he was too heavy. “Super cool of American Air to destroy our holiday travel plans because Lou is five pounds over the weight limit,” he said on Twitter. “Never had a problem on AA or any other airline, so I sure know which one I'm never booking with again.”
A spokesperson for American Airlines, however, told Fox News that Lou’s weight wasn’t the problem. In a statement, they said, "American has policies in place to protect pets that travel on American Airlines. Our policy states on aa.com: Pets must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container).”
The statement continued, “Lou was unable to comply with those requirements, which was reiterated to Mr. Markay. Lou's weight was never the concern, but it was the size of the kennel.”
The original tweet, however, received thousands of likes and was retweeted hundreds of times. Whether or not this played a role in the airline’s decision is unclear, but Lou was eventually allowed on the plane. Markey tweeted an update to his followers, saying “PUPDATE: We made it! AA wisely decided to make an exception. A special thank you to Camille and Adrian on AA's DCA team for the help and to all of you.”
American Airlines confirmed that a “one time exception” for Lou, but “our team reiterated that Mr. Markay will need to utilize a different kennel in the future.”
Fortunately, the experience doesn’t seem to have had a negative impact on Lou’s trip. Markay tweeted an additional picture from the plane, claiming that he and Lou made a new friend on the flight. American Airlines confirmed that the dog featured in the photo was a service animal for another passenger.