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An English Springer Spaniel has now clocked in more airline miles and international travel than many Americans, thanks to a major mistake by airline employees that loaded the dog onto a plane bound for Ireland, rather than the one headed to his home state of Arizona.
6-year old Hendrix was scheduled to arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona around 9:45 p.m. on Thursday night on a flight out of Liberty Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey. But, just minutes before the beloved family pet was scheduled to land, United Airlines called owner, Edith Lombardo-Albach, to let her know he wouldn’t be on board.
“Originally, I thought the dog had died and I started screaming,” Lombardo-Albach told ABC News. Thankfully, the dog was alive and well, but bound for Shannon, Ireland instead of Arizona.
Though he was correctly marked, labeled, and tagged for the Phoenix flight, Newark airline employees loaded poor Hendrix onto the wrong plane, sending him halfway around the world, all alone.
Lombardo-Albach said United told her that when Hendrix arrived in Ireland, “they were going to have someone clean the dog, feed the dog, walk the dog, and then they were going to get the dog back on the plane and send him to Newark.”
“The dog had already gone seven hours to Ireland, and now the dog has a two-hour layover and then a seven-hour flight to Newark,” she said. “I was insane.”
United Airlines told Lombardo-Albach that “they were going to have someone clean the dog, feed the dog, walk the dog, and then they were going to get the dog back on the plane and send him to Newark.”
United Airlines spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said in a statement, “We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the situation and will take steps to prevent this from happening again. Hendrix’s experience is not typical of the service we provide to the more than 100,000 pets who travel with us every year.”
United has offered a full refund to the Lombardo-Albach family for Hendrix’s flight.
The jetsetting spaniel is now back at home with his loving family in Phoenix.