By Andrea Romano
May 07, 2019
DANIEL SLIM/Getty Images

Traveling with a pet can be a stressful situation, even in the best of circumstances. Most pet owners dread the worst-case-scenario of their precious companion getting sick or even getting lost on a flight.

Recent tragic incidents involving pets on flights is why many airlines have been becoming increasingly strident about their pet policies. Luckily, these cases are few and far between, and sometimes, even if the seemingly worst happens, it can still end up being a happy ending.

A woman in North Carolina had one such experience but was happy to reunite with her beloved dog after he was accidentally put on the wrong flight, according to WTVR News.

Amber Dalton was scheduled to fly on an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Raleigh with her dog, Beast, last week. Although Dalton managed to get to her correct destination, her 13-pound poodle was sadly missing when she went to pick him up from the cargo hold.

According to Fox News, Dalton was scheduled to fly to Raleigh with a layover in Chicago. However, an airline staffer told her that her flight to Chicago could not carry animals. Instead, Dalton was rebooked on a flight to Dallas so she could catch her remaining flight to Raleigh, and Beast would be held in the cargo hold.

However, plans somehow got mixed up and Beast ended up flying through Chicago anyway, according to NBC Los Angeles. When Dalton went to pick up her dog in Raleigh, he was nowhere to be found. It was hours before Dalton was notified that Beast had somehow flown all the way to Philadelphia, about 418 miles from Raleigh.

A spokesperson for American Airlines said to NBC Los Angeles, “A conflict in our customers routing and policies caused us to keep their pet overnight in Philadelphia at a local pet hotel.”

The airline flew Beast from Philadelphia to Raleigh the next day and then a staffer drove him to Roanoke, where Dalton lives.

According to Fox News, American Airlines has refunded Dalton for her pet transport fees, baggage fees, and have given her a flight voucher.

“All of the money doesn't fix the next incident that could possibly be deadly,” Dalton said to Virginia First. Even though the refunds are nice, Dalton still wants answers to her stressful and confusing ordeal. She added to NBC Los Angeles, “How did you do this? And what are you going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen to another dog?”

Even though airlines can certainly take some responsibility when mistakes are made with pets, there are still a lot of things owners can do to try to make their experience as hassle-free as possible, with some careful planning.