Roanoke woman reunited with dog after he was flown to the wrong city

American Airlines sends dog to Philadelphia instead of Raleigh

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - A Roanoke woman is breathing a sigh of relief after being reunited with her beloved dog that American Airlines lost.

"I’m miserable, I’m crying, I’m freaking out," dog owner Amber Dalton said.

Dalton walked into the San Francisco airport Tuesday morning, planning to travel through Chicago to Raleigh. Her dog Beast was in a crate in the bottom of the plane. At the last minute, American Airlines workers told her the plane wasn't safe for pets so they'd send her through Dallas instead. They told Dalton her dog would be on the same flight, but he wasn’t and no one knew where he was.

"I’m thinking any number of things could've happened to him. It's horrible. And they don't want to help you because you're upset, but I am upset because you've lost my dog and you're treating it like lost baggage," Dalton said.

Hours later, they found Dalton’s dog in Philadelphia where he stayed overnight before flying to Raleigh on Wednesday morning and driving him to Roanoke. The airline sent Dalton a picture to make sure it was her dog.

“I’m just wanting my dog to come home. I just want this to be over with. I know that he looks fine but is he really OK? I can't see him, I can't touch him, I don't know," Dalton said.

Then, finally, Dalton and Beast were reunited Wednesday afternoon.

American Airlines refunded Dalton’s baggage and pet transport fees and gave her a flight voucher.

"Thank you. But how did you do this? And what are you going to do to make sure this doesn't happen to another dog?" Dalton said.

American Airlines sent 10 News the following statement:

American Airlines takes the well-being of our four-legged passengers very seriously. As a result, we weren’t able to reunite a checked pet with their owner yesterday on a trip from San Francisco (SFO) to Raleigh-Durham (RDU). To ensure the safety and health of animals we transport, our policies regulate the types of aircraft, weather conditions and locations that can be used. A conflict in our customer’s routing and policies caused us to keep their pet overnight in Philadelphia at a local pet hotel.

 Our customer care team has been in regular communication with Ms. Dalton and safely transported her pet to RDU this morning. We know it’s frustrating when our customers’ travel doesn’t go as planned and apologize for the inconvenience. Safety of all our customers is our top priority. More information on our pet travel policies can be found online.

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