Family Demands Answers As Dog Dies On Delta Flight Layover
An eight-year-old Pomeranian named Alejandro has died while traveling on Delta Airlines from Phoenix to Newark, New Jersey, and his family is heartbroken and demanding answers about what happened to their poor pup on the fateful flight.
Michael Dellegrazie and his girlfriend were traveling from Phoenix to New York and they put Alejandro on the plane with the intention of picking him up in New Jersey. There was a layover in Detroit, and while there, Alejandro was held in a cargo facility.
Evan Oshan is Dellegrazie’s attorney and representing the couple. He said that the stop in Detroit was at 6:00 a.m. and Alejandro was checked on and alive. But something happened between 8:00-8:30 a.m. when he was again checked on and found dead.
A Delta official said the dog’s crate had vomit and fluids inside. Delta’s statement on the incident said they are conducting a thorough review to find out just what happened, and working with the dog’s owners as best they can to support them in their loss however they can.
The statement said that they understand pets are family members, and that Delta is focused on the safety of animals they transport. They also offered for the dog to have an autopsy by a veterinarian to help give the family and the airline more answers.
The dog’s death comes in the wake of several animal-related accidents that happened in March, most notably the death of a French Bulldog puppy who died on a United airline flight after an attendant insisted the dog be put in the overhead bin, where he suffocated to death.
A day after the puppy’s death, a 10-year-old German Shepherd was accidentally flown to Japan, instead of Kansas, where he was originally destined, while a Great Dane that was supposed to be going to Japan ended up in the dog’s place in Kansas. That incident had a happy ending, with the dog being reunited with his family two days later.
Later in that same week, however, another United flight was diverted after the airline figured out that a dog was on the wrong flight, and they made flight changes to ensure the dog got delivered safely to its owner.
And as result of these mishaps, United reviewed and changed its PetSafe program and banned several breeds of dog from being transported by the company anymore due to flight risk. Included in that breed ban is the French Bulldog, for fear of breathing issues.
This all leads consumers to worry about whether it’s safe at all to transport their dog by air in any capacity, and leaves airlines scrambling to regain trust and confidence in the ability to do so. Companies are looking for ways to work with both consumers and airlines, with one company creating a virtual sitting service for pets that are flying cargo.
Our condolences are with the family of sweet Alejandro.
More by Lori Ennis