Dog flies to Ireland, instead of Phoenix

2013-03-19 14:10

New York - A dog that was supposed to be shipped to Phoenix by United Airlines last week, instead ended up in Ireland, leaving the airline red-faced.  

NBC News reports that it's been quite a journey for Hendrix, a 6-year-old English springer spaniel named after, whose startling itinerary had him zipping from the U.S. to Europe and back in a span of 24 hours.

The dog's owner, Meredith Grant, moved to Phoenix from Staten Island, N.Y., last week and asked her mother, Edith Lombardo-Albach, to ship the pet to her new home.

According to Lombardo-Albach she paid about $450 (R4 148) for the ticket and asked airline employees at Newark International Airport a few times whether Hendrix was indeed headed to Phoenix, just to make sure that everything was properly arranged. 

However, the poor pooch ended up flying across the Atlantic, leaving his owner in a panic. 

"I felt like anyone would feel if they found out that their child is being sent to Ireland, if the child was on the wrong flight," Grant told NBC News.

After realizing the error, the airline immediately took steps to ensure that Hendrix returned to Newark and was reunited with Lombardo-Albach as quickly as possible, said United's McCarthy.

Meanwhile, the family called the carrier and pleaded with the airline to walk and feed the dog when it arrived in Ireland, Grant said. She was relieved when the pilot of the plane personally called her to tell her Hendrix was being taken care of.

The dog next resurfaced in Newark on Friday, where Grant's mother made sure he was OK before sending him off to Phoenix. He was finally reunited with his owner on Friday evening.

"He was exhausted. When we got home, he laid down and I had to keep poking him to make sure he was still breathing," Grant said. "He's been acting a little weird, like he'll just sit and cry."

She plans to take Hendrix to the vet to have him checked out.

United has apologized to Lombardo-Albach, offered her a complete refund, as well as "a goodwill gesture," McCarthy said. But Grant said the family has not received an apology and wants to know how the dog wound up on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more on:    animals  |  travel international

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