I have been on the receiving end, but this is the first time I have shipped a puppy by Delta Dash air and it was a stressful day because nothing went right, well almost, because Babybell Blue did arrive finally unscathed and ready to snuggle!
First off, because of the heat, I planned to send her out at 7 am local time while the temperatures were still moderate. Soon after I arrived home from the airport, the cargo clerk called to say she wasn’t picked up to be put on the plane and was still sitting in their office. Hmmmm, first mistake of the day. I was angry, but still civil when I traipsed 45 minutes back to the airport to take her out of her crate to let her potty and try to arrange her on another flight which was to be 4 hours later, still connecting in Minneapolis.
The airline rule is if the puppy/pet is going through a city that does not have a Delta Pet Program with air conditioned transport to the plane, they will not ship if the temp is over 85 degrees. That being the case, the local folks were not going to let her ship. However, Delta overrode their decision with the understanding that she would not be outside to comply with her pet acclimation statement from my vet. Hot in Louisville, Hot in Minneapolis. Both cities over 85 degrees, but both had the Pet Program.
This time I was not walking off and leaving her in the event the flight was cancelled so there I sat for the morning until I saw her picked up and headed in the right direction. Little baby was still resting and not too stressed, thank goodness. Also, her being trained to a pee pad at this point was a lifesaver. I set her on the pad in my van and tanks emptied without a hitch. Good thing, no grass in sight.
Now I was getting nervous, so I started watching Cargo tracking to see how she made it through Minneapolis. Interesting..the tracking was all in error (Mistake number 2) because it showed her getting on that original Louisville flight and arriving in Minneapolis and also again getting on the 2nd flight that had been rescheduled. At the point I saw she arrived in Minneapolis but was not scanned for the next leg, I called Delta again. They called back and assured me she was on the flight to Grand Forks, that someone just didn’t scan her tag. At that point, it was also entered into the system that she was on the flight. Mistake number 3. When the plane arrived, no Babybell Blue!!
Another call to Delta and they hummed and hawed and said they’d see what happened. Okay. A call back said there was some “miscommunication” and she would be on the next flight. Did we believe them? NOT! Keeping fingers crossed and hoping she wasn’t sitting in poo, thirsty or somewhere hot..waiting and watching.
Finally, she did arrive on the late afternoon flight. Whew!! Safe and sound and not messy. Not quite a Delta DASH. More like 10 hours in a doggy crate, and supposing someone somewhere let her out to potty. A 2 1/2 hour flight turned into a full day.
Needless to say, I will again be watching very closely if I have to ship Delta and I will always buy insurance. However, the money is not the issue, it’s a puppy getting stressed from a long long day and arriving safely. Luckily, my two puppies had a couple of excursions this summer which may have helped her remain calm. Unfortunately, Continental nor United ships from my area so I’m very limited. I’d suggest using another airline if at all possible to others.
Little Bella goes out Sunday..hoping the employees working that day are more competent!