United Airlines Sends Passenger To San Diego, Ships His Dog To Hawaii

The passenger and his dog reunite after a paperwork snafu sent the canine to Hawaii.

The passenger and his dog reunite after a paperwork snafu sent the canine to Hawaii.

Handing your canine companion over to an airline, even for a few hours, can be stressful. So imagine how freaked out you would feel when you arrive at the airport only to find your furry friend is nowhere to be found.

KGO-TV’s Michael Finney has the story of a U.S. Navy petty officer who has heading back to California on United Airlines after being stationed in Guam for three years. He’d turned the dog over to United to be stowed in the cargo hold during the flight, but when he arrived in San Diego — no dog.

“They said he wasn’t there and that they didn’t even know where he was,” he recalls.

“I was thinking the worst case scenario,” adds his wife, who was at the airport to greet them, “you know someone forgot about him. No one is feeding him.”

She says she made repeated, fruitless attempts to get United to locate the lost canine.

“I called and I didn’t give up. I kept calling, calling,” she tells Finney. “I was on hold for hours on end, got hung up on.”

United was unable to provide the couple any answers, at least until Finney and his team got involved, because nothing makes airlines “take it seriously” than a TV news report.

Miraculously, after reporters got involved, United was able to locate the lost dog, who had been enjoying an unscheduled Hawaiian holiday.

“He was happy and he seemed well fed and they played with him with toys and everything,” says the owner, who is just satisfied to get his buddy back.

United would only say that the dog was misplaced because of a paperwork mix-up, but did issue this statement: “We didn’t provide him the service he would have liked and we aim to offer to our customers. We went ahead and refunded him that fee.”