Bad experience with airline

Shelley LimegroverShelley Limegrover LaramieMember Posts: 26
edited 2 September, 2007 in Cats & Travel
I took Winter with me to Montana to meet my family over the holidays. I didn't want to leave him behind. He has never been away from me longer than a day. I made reservations to take him in the cabin with me. I will never put him in cargo or anywhere without me. Getting to Montana was ok. He did very well. Didn't make too much noise and didn't have any accidents since we left at 4:30 am estern time and arrived sometime in the afternoon Mountain time. Before our return trip, we called to make sure all was well with the reservations. Apparently they had lost our reservation and scheduled another pet on the same flight. The smaller connecting planes only allow one pet. So they would not fix THEIR error. My husband insisted to speak with a manager, and after an hour or two of negotiation and explaining why our cat can't go anywhere but the cabin, the manager replied with "It's just a stupid pet." His exact words. My husband realized this man had no compassion whatsoever and took a different route. He explained that this is a valuable show-quality cat, not a stupid pet. Still no good, the man would not budge. We ended up delaying our flight to get another in cabin reservation for Winter. After returning, guess what's in the news? "Cat found hungry after 3 weeks in cargo hold" This cat was found on a United flight cargo hold in the Denver airport (which was our connecting airport).


  • Michele AshleyMichele Ashley Chattanooga/HixsonMember Posts: 3,161
    edited 29 January, 2007
    Hurray for your pawents for standing their ground!!!! Momma would never put us or any other animal in Cargo of an airplane. She has heard horror stories of animals dying of heat stroke, freezing to death etc in those holds. Momma said if we cant go in the cabin with her then she isnt going.
  • Yipee LadybugYipee Ladybug Member Posts: 3,805
    edited 29 January, 2007
    =D> I applaud your parents for standing their ground. Cargo is exactly that - FOR CARGO. Not for live animals, if you ask me.
  • SterlingAndTheSTeamSterlingAndTheSTeam Mount OliveMember Posts: 41,262 ✭✭✭
    edited 30 January, 2007
    Good for you!!! =D> Glad you held your ground! But did you report the manager to United? You still should.
  • Shelley LimegroverShelley Limegrover LaramieMember Posts: 26
    edited 30 January, 2007
    Oh don\'t worry, Papa will be taking care of it and reporting that guy. He might think I am a pest, but he\'ll do anything for Mama :)
  • Heather BellamyHeather Bellamy Perry / StatesboroMember Posts: 5,506
    edited 31 January, 2007
    I'm glad your pawrents are going to report that mean man! I'm so happy the kitty left down in cargo for 3 weeks was found alive! It's ridiculous that pets are often treated like mere possessions. Mommy's never been on an airplane and doesn't plan on getting on one any time soon, so hopefully I will not ever have to ride on one. Our family members all live within driving distance, thank cat!
  • Kim LasaterKim Lasater Agoura HillsMember Posts: 8,709
    edited 31 January, 2007
    Our mom makes long drives every year with the dogs since they cannot fly and she would never put us in cargo. My sitter comes when she is gone unless dad had to work and didn\'t get to go with her.
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 1 February, 2007
    Our mom has worked in the airlines for years and she can tell you, there are good and bad agents in any of them. We're really glad to hear you're reporting that awful human to his employer, they should know how he's representing their airline because I'm sure they wouldn't want that! By the way, I'm not sure how being a show cat makes you any less "dumb" than the rest of us, but I have to say that that human agent was dumber than any cat on earth!
  • Shelley LimegroverShelley Limegrover LaramieMember Posts: 26
    edited 2 February, 2007
    oh no no no, I don't think I'm better than anyone! My mama only meant that papa was taking on that position in the argument because he thought it might have more of an affect on the man who obviously didn't care about me being a live creature in the first place. A person who has no compassion can usually only be convinced with non-compassionate based argument.
  • Donna LenzDonna Lenz BethelMember Posts: 4,600 ✭✭✭
    edited 2 February, 2007
    There are many good people who work at the airlines and just as many idiots. Mom works with Save A Sato and they fly dogs a lot on American Airlines. Two dogs flew back to Puerto Rico with Aunt Leilani last fall, and as the plane was heading to the runway - the pilot announced that the pups were on board and safe, and they would meet in San Juan. Way cool pilot! I flew in the cabin into JFK when I came to live in the US. All the flight crew had to meet the adorable little kitten. I was treated like Ricky Martin.
  • Lia BinettiLia Binetti Spring HillMember Posts: 41
    edited 2 February, 2007
    I think that "1 pet in cabin only" is the stupidest rule!!!!! That's like saying you can only bring one child with you! Why? the cat's don't even take up a seat, and they are charging you for that anyway!!! I couldn't adopt my sister's cat from NY this dec. because my flight on Delta was in the 1st row, you know ,where the wall is? You'd think that would be the best place to travel with a carrier, but they said no, it would have to go under the front seat (and of course there is none there). Since the flight was full, they would not let me switch seats even though it was a day before and people hadn't checked in yet! Like I said, it's just the stupidest rule! Mr. B's mom
  • Shelley LimegroverShelley Limegrover LaramieMember Posts: 26
    edited 4 February, 2007
    We were assigned front row seats in one of our connecting flights too. I don't think anyone paid much attention to the fact Mama was bringing me. The ticket agents took the reservation over the phone to bring a pet, and made no comment even after the numerous times we called to confirm it. When I got on the plane, the flight attentdant asked someone else to move for us. The people we dealt with directly were nice and understadning. It was just that manager guy on the phone whom we had trouble with. And yeah, that 1 pet thing is silly. Larger planes allow 2. Still, it makes no sense.
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 5 February, 2007
    Our mom has worked for several airlines, including some United Express affiliates, Allegiant Air and Independence Air. Allegiant Air flies only MD-80 series planes, and the cargo bins below the cabin aren't pressurized so they only allow pets in the cabin, since they'd suffocate in the cargo bins. American uses a lot of MD-80's, too. Independence Air (RIP) allowed as many pets in the cabin as could fit under the seats, basically one for every human passenger (minus the bulkhead seats). It's sad that they went out of business! :( Mom's aware of the United policy, on the small planes it's basically one pet in the cabin and one in the cargo bin per flight. The bins are pressurized and climate controlled, but it can be very loud and scary being loaded and unloaded by strangers. She never really understood the one pet in cabin policy, except that maybe it made it easier for them to move humans who might be allergic away. It's terrible that they couldn't do more to accomodate you, Winter! It's possible that the manager you talked to didn't have the authority to override the policy, but he didn't have to be so insensitive! That DOES prove that he's the "stupid" one! I'm glad your humans are reporting him!
  • Sharon MurphySharon Murphy SurreyMember Posts: 1,652
    edited 2 April, 2007
    I travel with my mum everywhere. I've been on long car drives and cross country plane rides...and Canada's a bigger country than the US, so the plane rides are long!! I've flown on 3 different airlines - Jetsgo (they're out of business...and sucked), Air Canada (they were okay, but they won't allow kitties during their peek times now!), and Westjet. Westjet was the best. They allow kitties to travel any time of year, and there doesn't seem to be a kitty/puppy limit on board. There were a bunch on board this Christmas!
  • joan ilejayjoan ilejay Member Posts: 14
    edited 6 April, 2007
    i think this topic just made mommy a lot nervous about travelling with me cause this would be her first time... we'v been apart for almost a year and now she said that she's taking me with her cause she misses me badly (she works half way across the world for me) but now she's having second thought if its safe to take me with her because of these plane problems... she's worried i might end up like the dihydrated kitty or something worst...
  • Alejandra GarzaAlejandra Garza Mexico CityMember Posts: 245
    edited 23 April, 2007
    I'm really nervous now. Mom will be picking me next Tuesday and we'll be flying Delta, Altanta-Mexico City. Delta says that I can't make a reservation but it's on a first-come-first basis. Anybody knows if this is true? Licks, Freya
  • Julie CatrionaJulie Catriona BabyvilleMember Posts: 33
    edited 1 June, 2007
    Oh that's terrible! How dare someone think of us as "stupid!" I know my mommy would NEVER let anyone get away with calling me stupid and treating me like some piece of cargo! I've never been on this plane thing myself, but I know for a fact that my mommy would insist on having me with her at all times if she ever did have to go somewhere with me that was out of driving distance. It's a good thing your mommy will take action against these people, it's not right to consider us as mere "cargo" and "stupid pets". Grr. I would have scratched that jerk's eyes out! Meow!
  • Kaye BradyKaye Brady Garner NCMember Posts: 41,548
    edited 8 June, 2007
    Oh my, what to do.....Poor Chaos has to travel alone if he flies, I cannot afford a round trip ticket for me and his grandmeowmy cannot either.....oh oh oh. It is all we can do to come up with the money to get him from Raleigh to his home in Davenport, Iowa. hmmm, lots to think about, but boy this flying thing now has me concerned.
  • Kathryn BeltKathryn Belt RhinelanderMember Posts: 155 ✭✭
    edited 22 June, 2007
    Ugh, that poor kitty getting lost in the cargo hold. That freaks me out I will have to talk to mommy, I am not traveling in the cargo hold. I am a crier so I guess we would have to drive.
  • Kate ThornburgKate Thornburg Member Posts: 63
    edited 26 August, 2007
    If I had been called \" Just a stupid pet\" by that low down idiotic mouse crap she would have gone right up to him and slapped him right across the face and stomped off. (Slap now, Sue later:)) Its just what he deserves. Good job on getting your daddy to report him.
  • Nancy GraceNancy Grace near Ft. WorthMember Posts: 104
    edited 26 August, 2007
    I agree, there are good employees and bad. In the few years Mom flew pro, she had Rampers ask her for water on hot days for cargo pets. One family didn't leave food or water for their furbaby on a hot day, so a nice Ramper having seen that the dog was suffering badly, took a chance and gave him some water. That dog had been traveling a long time before he met the nice Ramper. On another occassion, a very talented and unhappy dog got himself loose in cargo and they had to shut the hatch on him until the K-9 unit could get out there with the loop and recage him. Mom's also seen baby chicks die because they didn't get proper care. That was so sad. The cargo hold is *usually* sectioned off on large planes and pets are to be placed in the pets area because it is has cabin pressure and air. In smaller planes, like regionals, the cargo is sometimes just another room in the cabin (depending on the make/model), so it usually receives the same treatment as the cabin. However, on flights with a bad cooling system, the cargo may get hotter/colder faster since the walls are not insulated like the cabin. Airplanes without pressure cannot fly above 10,000 feet (breathless human popsickles). Most pilots are caring people...the Captains will refuse a flight if maintenance can't fix an air problem quickly and they do get a furry passenger count, so if necessary (should the hot flight go ahead), they may pull a pet from cargo and either put it (small ones) in the cabin or reschedule the human and pet on a more comfortable flight. What Captains say goes and they can refuse a passenger & pet on the flight if they feel it's a safety issue. The agent can fuss, but the Captain wins the debate every time in such situations (at least I've never seen or heard of a Captain losing such a debate). Safety first. Always keep your flight info incase you need to report a fussy agent, most are nice. The company will either take your side without further discussion, or will talk to the Captain if he/she is the one who made the decision to remove the passenger and pet. As an extra precaution, ask the FA to remind the pilots there is a pet in cargo. Since there are sooooo many variations to consider, try to get there way early...the early critter usually gets the cabin, or leave your furbaby at home. Okay, sorry for the soapbox...just wanted to relay the stories I hear from Mom and Dad. Mom is even debating whether or not to let me fly. Happy Flying, Nemo
  • Elizabeth RebholtzElizabeth Rebholtz Member Posts: 1
    edited 2 September, 2007
    I moved to Arizona from California in March. I had arranged with my son to ship Merlin via Alaskan Airlines on June 11. He had a overnite layover in Seattle. The kennel missed the morning flight, but they stuck Merlin on the afternoon flight. I had to go to phoenix instead of tucson, but I was so happy to get Merlin finally. Alaskan Airlines was teriffic. Merlin was a little drugged but he was back to normal within a week. So my experience with the airline was great. It was the Kennel in Seattle that screwed things up. All ended well in the end.
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