Reps for American Airlines have apologized after a dog was accidentally sent to the wrong city during a cross-country journey from San Francisco to Raleigh, N.C., in an upsetting ordeal that separated the pooch and his owner for 30 hours.
On Tuesday morning, Amber Dalton boarded a flight at San Francisco International Airport en route to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, WSET reports, with a layover scheduled in Chicago.
The woman’s dog, Roast Beast, was slated to fly in the cargo hold, as per Virginia First.
However, before departing San Fran, airline staffers informed Dalton that the flight to Chicago wasn’t able to carry animals, according to Philly Voice. The woman and the American Airlines employees agreed that the best alternative would be for Dalton to fly to Dallas, so that Beast could fly on the same plane as her.
Eventually landing in North Carolina, Dalton went to pick up her dog — but he was nowhere in sight.
Though a scan of Dalton’s bag tag indicated that Beast was, in fact, on the flight from Chicago, the dog was not found on the plane when it arrived, as per Virginia First.
‘"At this point, I'm getting really upset because this is twice that my dog should have landed and it's been over an hour and he's still not here,” Dalton said.
Unable to locate Beast, airport officials eventually learned that the woman’s pet had been mistakenly placed on a nonstop flight to Philadelphia.
"I’m miserable, I’m crying, I’m freaking out," Dalton told WSLS.
"I’m thinking any number of things could've happened to him. It's horrible,” she continued. “And they don't want to help you because you're upset, but I am upset because you've lost my dog and you're treating it like lost baggage.”
Fortunately, an American Airlines staffer drove Beast to his owner hometown in Roanoke, and the pair were reunited on Wednesday afternoon.
Reps for the carrier have since refunded Dalton’s baggage and pet transport fees for the trouble, and given her a free flight voucher.
Dalton, meanwhile, says that she’s simply grateful that her dog is home safe.
"All of the money doesn't fix the next incident that could possibly be deadly," she told Virginia First.
When contacted for comment, reps for the carrier offered Fox News the following statement:
“American Airlines takes the well-being of our four-legged passengers very seriously. As a result, we weren’t able to reunite a checked pet with their owner as planned on Tuesday following a trip from San Francisco to Raleigh-Durham,” a spokesperson said via email on May 3. “To ensure the safety and health of animals we transport, our policies regulate the types of aircraft, weather conditions and locations that can be used. A conflict in our customer’s routing and safety policies caused us to reroute their dog on another type of aircraft to Philadelphia, where it stayed overnight at a local pet hotel.”
“The customer’s dog was flown to RDU on the first flight Wednesday, then transported by our team to Ms. Dalton,” the rep continued. “Our customer care team has been in regular communication with Ms. Dalton.”
“We know it’s frustrating when our customers’ travel doesn’t go as planned and apologize for the inconvenience. Safety of all our customers is our top priority,” they concluded, detailing that more information on their pet travel policies can be found online.