Animal lover or not, it is distressing to read about this incident where a crated dog was left on the tarmac in Houston (IAH). In the rain. For an hour.
United Airlines quickly tried to deflect the blame after a passenger not only tweeted about the incident but added a photo. Incredibly, United’s tweet in response…
“Thanks for telling us. The weather can change & may have been clear when PetSafe dropped off. They’re the ones to call too.”
I probably have 60-70 flights into and out of IAH every year. While I agree with United that weather can change, adding the part that it may have been clear when the pet was left there was really unnecessary. Even worse is suggesting that a passenger should assume the responsibility for calling PetSafe. What’s totally missing from United’s response was they did nothing to help this animal as it continued to sit on the tarmac in the cold rain.
What United could have done – if they really cared about this situation – was to respond with something like the following:
“Oh my, thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. This is inexcusable. We have contacted PetSafe – the agency responsible for caring for pets and transporting them between planes – and demanded they remedy this situation immediately. Please let us know if they fail to do this as we take pride in being responsible for the pets in our care.”
I often say to passengers who have issues with airlines that sometimes it is not what’s being said that is the problem, it is the way it’s being said. In United’s case here, this is a horrible example where they failed at both.
This can’t be my final post of 2014 because I refuse to end the year on such a down note. I will follow up this post with something more positive.