Pet bird thrown in with luggage

2012-12-04 09:12

Johannesburg - A woman says she was shocked to see her pet bird coming out with ordinary luggage on an airport conveyor belt.

Shane van Vuuren told The Times that she “freaked out” when she saw her pet weaver among the suitcases at OR Tambo International after a Mango flight from Durban to Johannesburg.

“One of the other passengers said: ‘You are joking, is it an animal?’ I replied: ‘Yes, it’s my bird’,” Van Vuuren said.

The bird was in a special ventilated bag and was fortunately still alive - although it died the next day.

Van Vuuren said airline staff had told her the bird would be flown in the fragile section.

"An apology I'll accept but I want to know why it was done. They can keep my money. I just want to know why and how this happened. How many other animals get thrown around like that? That is the scary part."

Mango's communications manager, Hein Kaiser, apologised on behalf of the airline.

  • siann.heidgen - 2012-12-04 09:26


  • tobie.schalkwyk.7 - 2012-12-04 09:36

    A typical American response should be fine here: "OMG!"!

  • john.boltman.7 - 2012-12-04 09:37

    Every day we are constantly reminded that this IS a banana republic, and Africa just wins again.

      Jane - 2012-12-04 11:55

      I have to agree with you, I used to HATE it when people used to say typical South Africa or only in Africa, but sadly it is becoming truer by the day. There seems to be a serious lack of common knowledge in the service industries these days.

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-12-04 09:46

    Shame man poor birdie. Some people have no sense of humanity, no wonder the poor thing died. I hope they come up with a hell of a good excuse.

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-12-04 11:04

      we will now hear cosatu that we pay more attention to birdies than black workers!!! Watch this space - they said the same about the rhinos! Africa at it's best

  • Eterni80 - 2012-12-04 09:49

    in SA acceptable customer service is NO SERVICE at all.

  • Billy - 2012-12-04 09:50

    "I just want to know why and how this happened" BBBEEEEEEE all you can BBBEEEEEEE in the banana countryyyyyyy

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-12-04 09:51

    This is shocking! Sue the pants off them! How do you do something like this!!!! On principle I will never fly mango again,a company is only as good as the staff it hires!

  • guy.snelling.3 - 2012-12-04 10:04

    "Fragile"? I had a bag coming back from PE recently with at least 5 FRAGILE stickers on it. It didn't arrive at the FRAGILE counter at ORT and I eventually found it on the carousel along with the 'normal' baggage.

  • Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-04 10:06

    Does the SPCA have any jurisdiction here? This was certainly cruel and inhumane treatment.

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-04 10:11

      But SAA's 'legal eagles' will probably claim quite smugly 'There is no proof that the airline's handling of the bird contributed to its death. It could have been natural causes'

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-12-04 11:46

      Bob,still can be charged woth cruel transportation of an animal!

  • dannycashcinti - 2012-12-04 10:14

    Mango worst airline in SA, not surprised at all!!!

  • horst.muller.7330 - 2012-12-04 10:20

    The death of a bird, I suppose this is also news and takes our mind off the usual political crap.

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-12-04 10:49

      If it was your pet stuffed in a suitcase,you might judt think otherwise!

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2012-12-04 11:16

      You mean instead of his pants

  • leske.venter - 2012-12-04 10:27

    A pet Weaver Bird??

      irma.white.9 - 2012-12-04 10:57

      You can keep anything as a pet these days. I know you can keep Indian Mynas as pets, my neighbour even had a bush baby as a pet.

      Jane - 2012-12-04 11:58

      I don't know about a bush baby as a pet. My friend had her 2 Sugargliders confiscated by Nature Conservation. It is illegal to keep them as pets even though she bought them from breeders and had them flown to Cape Town.

  • annamaria.flanegan - 2012-12-04 10:52

    too little too late

  • erich.goosen - 2012-12-04 10:55

    A bird on the conveyer belt is worth two in the bush.

  • Sheilan.Clarke - 2012-12-04 10:55

    Animal cruelty. The airline staff should face the consequences.

  • gawie.herholdt.1 - 2012-12-04 11:02

    Apology - awesome way to fix this. Did not work out for the poor bird, incompetence the reason for this. Fix that rather.

  • ahenriquesfernandes - 2012-12-04 12:03

    Does this not fall under animal abuse?

  • schalk.w.visser - 2012-12-04 14:15

    Mango is a tropical fruit so is a banana! Disgusting! I had bad times with mANGO an sAA. Never ever again!

  • Genesistt - 2012-12-04 15:38

    I guess the baggage handler didn't understand the word "Fragile"? Or maybe the common sense needed to figure out a live animal shouldn't be shoved into normal baggage storage just wasn't present? I'm baffled!

  • brigette.swanepoel - 2012-12-04 15:54

    All they will say is Eish yo yo yo.... I did'nt know

  • marco.hoffmann.50999 - 2012-12-06 09:08

    I am taking my dog on a mango flight in Dec. I emailed mango to find out where they will be keeping her in flight. I also asked about the incident. Reply was and i quote "This is the 1st time that such an incident has been brought to attention and however have no knowledge nor can I confirm it." So I forwarded the article to them so they can know whats going on in their own airline. Thinking I must cancel flight and go with a kulula seeing as mango has already lost my baggage twice and is likely to chuck my dog in the engine of the plane.

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