Pet owners’ nightmare when flying is the possibility that something could happen to their pet. Some fear the transportation in the cargo hold of an airplane. Many wish their pets could ride in the cabin of the plane with their owners under their seat, as flying an animal in the cargo compartment is seen as extremely dangerous.
Until air passengers are able to take their furry friends along with them onboard to travel in the main cabin, pet owners are asked to have the animal placed in a sturdy, escape-proof carrier. The airline’s cargo handlers will see to it that proper care will go to “live animals” in transit. Repeated incidents at JFK airport has some travelers cast doubt on animals being placed into the plane’s cargo hold safely, though.
Yet, what happens when an animal is lost in Airline Cargo? Well, such an incident occurred when American passenger Jennifer Stewart and her husband, Joseph Naaman, booked Felix (the couple’s cat) on their Etihad Airways flight from the United Arab Emirates to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on April 1. Upon arrival from Abu Dhabi, Felix went missing somewhere on the grounds of Kennedy Airport, according to Etihad Airways. A cargo manager told the couple that the cat’s carrier had been “crushed.” A photograph showed them a large hole in the top of the cat’s carrier where apparently the cat escaped. More than a week has passed and Felix remains missing.
The JFK airport along with Etihad Airways has formed a search party and has called upon a highly trained detection dog, to help track down Felix’s scent. Meanwhile, the airline is investigating what happened.
“You pay all of this money, but for what? People assume you pay extra to have your pets taken care of, but they’re treated no differently than a free piece of checked luggage,” Stewart said. The couple spent $1,200 to ship Felix on the 14-hour flight, just to find the cat missing somewhere at the airport.
The couple is quite upset for the loss of their 2-year-old pet cat Felix, and just wants to find Felix and bring him home safely.
In the wake of this incident, a representative for Etihad Airways told CNN in a statement “the safety and care of pets traveling with Etihad Airways is a top priority.” The airline assures the couple it will continue to search the airport until they have answers. This unpleasant incident shall not hold back other passengers’ concerns on the Airline’s and Cargo Handling movements, the spokesperson said.