Delta Airlines says that it continues to investigate how another dog went missing this time at LAX, but maintains that preliminary findings show the company’s procedures were followed. Even still, the airline has offered passenger Frank Romano $200 towards another flight. There are so many things wrong here.
First there’s the issue of missing pets that Delta is developing a reputation for. LAist has three examples since 2010; one dog was killed by a car. And in one separate case cited just to bring the point home, the airline mixed up two children and sent them to the wrong cities.
Being detail-oriented about getting people, pets and cargo from one place to another is a basic that Delta has to master for the sake of its reputation. And whoever wrote the statement in this case isn’t doing the company any favors.
In this incident, Romano says he was alerted while in his seat on a flight to Tampa that his dog was missing. His dog, a pit bull named Ty, has a microchip.
“She said your dog bit through the kennel. And we need you to just identify the dog. And then she changed her story that they couldn’t find my dog. And that the dog had been lost for an hour,” he told CBS. He goes on to say, despairingly, that he just wants his “best friend” back.
If proper procedures were followed and a dog is still missing, then the procedures need to change. Here’s where some proactive messaging about procedural improvements would be useful. And try getting the story straight before alerting your customer.
The company’s fulls statement is as follows:
Delta continues to investigate what happened, but early indications show that procedures were followed, and the dog may have compromised the kennel on its own. Delta immediately worked with LAX airport teams and the customer to locate the dog but was unsuccessful. We remain in contact with this customer, and we are fully supporting the search for their pet. Delta understands that pets are important members of the family and regrets this occurred while this pet was entrusted to our care.
The statement says nothing about what they’re doing to retrieve Ty, how the kennel could have been compromised, or what the procedures are, generally, for caring for pets. These are the details that demonstrate how seriously they take the situation. This statement is lip service.
This is also an opportunity for the airline to educate pet owners on the kinds of kennels owners should be investing in if there are certain kinds that a dog can get out of.
Separately but related, just this weekend a friend told me that his dog was traveling in cargo during a winter storm and had to ask about the temperature where his pet was being held. His dog along with a few prize show dogs were then placed in an area with heat lamps. So no one who works for the airline thought of this? I have no idea whether this was Delta, but seriously airlines, get it together.