Not a lot of people can say they’ve traveled to Japan, but a dog hailing from the U.S. can scratch the country off his travel bucket list now.
In all seriousness, Irgo, a German shepherd that is 10 years of age recently flew over 11,000 miles, travelling a total of two days, to get back to his family in the States. This all because of mix up, thanks to United Airlines.
Irgo’s family, the Swindles, were moving to Kansas from Oregon recently and had placed their dog on a cargo flight to their new home. Unfortunately, when they went to pick him up, the airline couldn’t find him. What they could find was a Great Dane, who was supposed to be in Japan, where his owners were awaiting him.
The family was distraught over the news around the mix up. Not only was their dog missing, but it was his first time traveling the friendly skies, and they noticed an ear infection on the dog right before he boarded his flight.
To boot, United was not able to confirm Irgo’s whereabouts until close to eight hours after the family went to retrieve him.
CNN advised that when they did realize the dog was in Japan, the air carrier did apologize for the mix up and promised to make things right by returning both animals to their rightful owners. United was planning on sending Irgo back home on a cargo flight, until the Swindles told them, ‘absolutely not’ and they insisted the dog fly in the cabin.
United ended up flying the dog to Wichita, Kansas, from Narita, Japan on the company’s corporate jet.
All’s well that ends well for the Swindles, but sadly this was the second pooch faux pas (pardon the pun) that occurred for United in one week. Days earlier a French bulldog passed away while on a flight from New York to Houston because a flight attendant informed the passengers and owners of the pup that they needed to put their dog up in an overhead bin. With no air circulation, the dog passed away.
United has stated the dog’s death is currently under investigation.