American Airlines Gets A Lashing On Facebook, Twitter After Losing Cat In JFK

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by sobore, Aug 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/08...-on-facebook-twitter-after-losing-cat-in-jfk/

    After several years in New York City, Jack The Cat was bound for a new life in California with his brother Barry and owner Karen Pascoe.
    That is, until his adventure took a wild turn which has sparked a social network lashing against American Airlines.

    On Thursday, Jack and Barry were kenneled and passed over to baggage handlers on Flight 177 from Kennedy Airport.
    After clearing security, Pascoe — who was moving out west after 22 years in the Big Apple to start a new job — received a call from an airline employee who told her Jack was lost in the inbound baggage claim area.

    Pascoe boarded a later flight with Barry after an hour-long search came up empty. She was assured that she’d get a phone call as soon as Jack was found.
    Pascoe claims American Airlines finally contacted her Sunday, about 66 hours after she was told her pet was missing.

    “I have to say it was really slow-moving to get a response from American and I get that there’s a backdrop of a hurricane,” Pascoe told 1010 WINS. “My cat’s lost, I’m in shock, it’s a total nightmare and they don’t call me for a couple of days.”

    An employee told her they were actively searching for Jack but that “the last time this happened, it took about a month to find the cat.” Pascoe said the airline believes Jack is in the same area where he first went missing and that he’s still hiding there.

    A Facebook page, “Jack The Cat is Lost in AA Baggage at JFK,” has garnered nearly 1,400 followers.
     
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  2. JohnDeere19
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    1 MONTH??!?!?!?!?!
     
  3. DestinationDavid
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    Cats can be very skittish and you throw in tons of airplane noise, baggage handlers, nooks and crannies, etc... and I'm not shocked at all.
     
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  4. sobore
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    I wonder if the cat will look like this once found? :p
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. JohnDeere19
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    I'm surprised they actually found it after that long!
     
  6. DestinationDavid
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    Always a happy ending with AA, no? ;)
     
  7. iolaire
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    So my father still lives in Alaska, he brought his dog and cat down to Washington state for a family reunion. Later he went camping and the cat ran away - six or so months later my brother who lives in Washington got a call from the Camp hosts that they finally found the cat...

    Moral of the story, people have their own ways of being different and lost cats are hard to find.
     
  8. uggboy
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    :p
     
  9. Scottrick
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    If the cat was in a kennel, how did it get out?
     
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  10. DestinationDavid
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    Kennels are designed to hold animals, but also let them out. I'm guessing somehow, it was let out. Without a nicer way of putting it - I'm guessing the answer is $#!^ happens. ;)
     
  11. canucklehead
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    on the bright spot, the airport terminal was vermin free afterwards! :D

    In all fairness to AA, operations were disrupted by Hurricane Irene.
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    I thought disappearing was a built-in feature of every cat on earth. At least I get that impression by all the missing cat posters on telephone poles. I'll check with the herd of semi-feral cats that call our neighborhood home...
     
  13. Jimgotkp
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    Sadly, I feel bad for AA. I feel they are getting too much pressure on them from hardcore animal lovers including PETA.
     
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  14. newbluesea
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    Well I am not sure if all the pressure is coming from "hardcore animal lovers" chaulk a major part up of the facebook/twiiter nonsense to the the usual internet rabble-rousing one encounters all too common these days.
    Some of us who have pets as part of our family do empathtize when anyone loses a pet.

    I must say that at least this thread (so far) hasnt deteriorated into the borderline ugly postings on the other prominent board where some think the matter should treated similar to a lost piece of lugguge.:rolleyes: An undiagnosed illness has got to be that spending too much time at altitude distorts reality and brings on varying degrees of selfishness.

    But for the life of me I cannot understand why airlines have so many escaping pets. All it requires is a couple of cable ties or plastic container seals to secure a pet carrier its not rocket-science.
     
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  15. DestinationDavid
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    I saw that post on TOBB about lost luggage and shook my head. I had the same reaction. :rolleyes:
     
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  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Exactly.

    but do they really have so many? Are their any stats?

    As for securing the container as you described, true, but isn't that something the owner could do before handing over the animal in the shipping container?
     
  17. DestinationDavid
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    Well we don't really know the specifics of what happened. The case could have been faulty, the owner might not have secured it correctly, someone with AA could have accidentally opened the crate, etc.

    Like most problems in life, blame could probably be spread around a bit on multiple parties. Ultimately though, I think AA still has to own up to this. If the cat's crate wasn't fit to travel, or the owner had not provided sufficient protection for the animal, they shouldn't have accepted it.

    Since they did, they took responsibility, and this is now their fault.
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    "Reading" the article, it seems to me they are doing quite a bit to find the cat. There are probably just as many cat/pet lovers within AA as outside (percentage-wise). Not clear to me if that's a result of the FB campaign or not.
     
  19. DestinationDavid
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    I never said they weren't doing their due diligence in finding the cat. I think they have done a great job of sign posting progress and letting the public know what they are doing since this became such a social media circus. I've actually "read" quite a few of their Facebook notes (and the article) over the past few days updating people on the progress of the search.

    All I've said is that ultimately AA's staff decided that the cat and it's carrier were fit to travel. The owner could have brought the cat in a plastic grocery bag, and if AA said "sure, load him up" it's still their fault.
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    From a legal / T&C perspective that may be the case. As a pet owner I would not rely solely on the airline agent's judgement and would ensure that the transportation cage is as securely locked as possible. (of course, as you said, that doesn't necessarily guarantee that no AA employee opens the cage... presumably in violations of rules). The "it's their fault" answer may be useful when we're talking about a missing suitcase of clothes, but when it comes to something irreplaceable, that doesn't help all that much.

    And yes, we don't know anything about the cage in this particular case; I was mere responding to the comment about airlines using cable ties to secure cages with a comment about owners being able to do that themselves.
     
  21. iolaire
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    Many animal carriers are complete garbage. I doubt airlines take responsibility for sealing the carriers – just like they don’t take responsibility for sealing your bags. Also they might have some sort of system where they let pets out to do their business, and I’m sure those pets may be completely wild after a bit of travel.
     
  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  23. DestinationDavid
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    I'm the owner of 2 pets myself, so I understand where you're coming from. We do what we can, but at the end of the day you're at the mercy of the airline. You could turn your pet into the airline in a bomb shelter, but ultimately you relinquish control to the airline, and they make the difference between keeping your pet safe or not.

    Edited to Add: This is why if I have to move my pets, I do NOT use an airline. I'll drive them myself. I'm paranoid as it is with my pets getting out (they're bolters) so the likelihood of me handing over my pets to an airline is zero. This speaks to my thoughts on the subject though, I know that anything can easily be negated by a careless employee or some mistake on the tarmac. Not taking chances.

    Owners can do very little or quite a bit in the time before a flight to ensure safetly, but ultimately AA is responsible. Just awhile back didn't baggage handlers run over a kennel at LAX and release a dog who was safely locked in his crate?
     
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  24. kansaskeith

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    Well, here is what AA posted tonight on Facebook, clearly trying to gain the public-relations upper hand in the fracas over what just as clearly is, if found, going to be a Lifetime Platinum cat.

    They flew the owner back to New York from California, they hired a "pet detective," consulted the "mayor's alliance," and sent the AA managing director walking across the JFK complex. Did he have to say "here kitty, kitty" as he walked?

    They also put food and water out at multiple locations. There was no mention if there was the standard airline notice accompanying that food: "we apologize if your entree of choice was not available by the time we got to this location."

    Anyway, here was A's post on Facebook:

    UPDATE on AA's search for Jack the Cat - September 1, 8:11 PM EST

    by American Airlines on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 7:13pm

    To everyone who shares our concern for Jack and supports our efforts to find him:
    American Airlines and our employees continue to work diligently to find Jack and reunite him with Ms. Pascoe and Barry.
    Here’s what’s new today. We have retained the pet detective that Ms. Pascoe (Jack’s owner) has suggested we use, and the detective will accompany Ms. Pascoe as part of our search efforts. By working directly with the detective, American can offer faster and more comprehensive access to AA’s JFK facilities. This is in addition to other ongoing efforts to find Jack, including:
    • Ms. Pascoe has accepted our offer to fly her from California to New York to assist with the search and see first-hand our efforts to locate Jack.
    • Food and water have been placed around the operation and is regularly replenished. If Jack feels comfortable returning to his kennel, we have placed food and water inside it as well.
    • American has consulted with the Mayor’s Alliance Society for NYC to set up Have-A-Heart humane traps that have been placed throughout the area.
    • Employees, including the American Airlines Managing Director in JFK, continue to walk the entire operation in search.
    • AA has placed posters in employee break-rooms, bulletin-boards on the ramp, and throughout our JFK facility. An alert has been placed on electronic bulletin boards visible to all employees from all departments.
    • All airside equipment, such as bag carts, is being inspected.
    • Extensive video footage from the immediate and surrounding areas is under review.
    • All airlines at JFK have received a flyer with a request for assistance.
    • Representatives from the Port Authority of New York, including a Wildlife Management representative, have provided recommendations for the search.
    • The Port Authority is making regular patrols of the airfield and has been provided with information and posters, which it has distributed to businesses on the airport property.
    • “Vet Port,” which provides veterinary services to the airport, airline and local airport businesses, has been alerted and is supporting the search effort.
    • Daily briefings are occurring to review progress and generate ideas for locating Jack.
    • American Airlines continues to conduct a thorough investigation into how Jack escaped and determine how we can learn from it.
    We have adopted some of your ideas into our search plan and thank the community for your ongoing support for Jack during this period. We understand that a cat is a loved family member for so many, including many of our own employees, and we are doing our utmost to find Jack.
     

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