I saw this post and was appalled. Having loss my beloved Gypsy recently and entirely too soon, I get what Maggie is going through. Although our loses are the same, Bea’s demise is a tragedy we can all learn from.
On a good day I think the blatant disregard of humane treatment airlines give travelers is abhorrent. It’s the only industry where customer service doesn’t exist. And these are people. People molested by price gouging, cooped up in packed planes, denied food, water, and facilities. They are treated like starving beggars who should be grateful for being locked on a plane without power and A/C, told to turn off our phones so we can’t call for help, and threatened, or denied the use of flight if they complain or get out of line, and that’s if you’re lucky enough not to get bumped or have your flight cancelled.
Airlines keep humans in inhumane conditions on planes for hours at a time, it’s not so surprising that they have little regard for our pets as well. On the blog Bea Makes Three, dog owner Maggie describes her heartbreaking ordeal in the post United Airlines Killed Our Golden Retriever, Bea. As a good pet mommy, Maggie followed all the guide lines and requirements for the Pet Safe program. Yet, sometime within the few hours Bea was entrusted to UA’s care, the perfectly healthy two-year-old died of heat stroke. Again the horrible treatment isn’t isolated to just animals, Maggie and her family had to endure two hours of misdirection as an airline official refused to return Bea’s body stating it had been sent to a vet’s office for a necropsy, when in fact their dog had been in the next room. The deceit didn’t stop there as United also tried to get a copy of the necropsy by lying to the vet.
My family no longer uses the same veterinarian for our new pups. Our last experience was far from ideal, but at least the staff was compassionate. I can’t imagine having an emotionless unprofessional associate tell you your dog is dead, only to be denied her body and mislead for hours. We don’t treat our children like this (though they don’t get treated much better on planes) and any pet parent will tell you they are our four legged babies.
The lady at Starbucks always hands me my coffee with a promise to make me a new one if this one isn’t just right. And that’s just a coffee. These people paid for and trusted United Airlines with a life. Airlines are responsible for so many lives everyday. But somewhere along the way in their efforts to be safe and profitable they loss the thread of human decency. I for one will be boarding any carrier other than United when I HAVE to fly. My pets shall be chauffeured cross country if need be.