Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Luna, Delta Airlines and the Rise of the Momma Bear

UPDATE: Apparently, like a Momma Bear, I reacted to some misinformation. I have corrected that information below. I have struck through the misinformation because it's only fair that you know how I maligned Delta Airlines. 

 I have inserted corrected information in blue. A lot of the story is still the same, except for the level of Delta's culpability. I apologize. And I have learned a lesson.

I am trying really hard to live by Christian principles, to work the Twelve Steps, and to be a good person…but I'm struggling right now. I'm channeling my Momma Bear and I am just flat out ticked off at a situation with Delta Airlines.

My kids have a situation because they were unaware of an issue when they booked their flight from Taiwan back to the U.S. If you can help, that would be nice.

Here's the story. (It's long. You might want to go get a drink and some popcorn. I'll wait.)

The Backstory
This is my lovely daughter and her husband: Megan and Kendall

They have been living in Taiwan for a year now. Kendall has been going to school and Megan has been teaching English and yoga.

Several months ago, they added a new member to their family…

Meet Luna.

They got her from Love Mama, who rescues puppies in Taiwan and finds loving homes for them. She found Luna and her siblings soon after they were born—huddled together in a hole in the ground! The puppies would have died if Love Mama hadn't found them.

Luna is dearly loved by the extended family, even those of us who have never met her IRL. She is sweet-tempered, well-behaved, friendly and curious. She always says "hello" when I Skype with Megan and Kendall.

But her best trait has been her ability to assuage the homesickness that naturally occurs when you move halfway around the world from everyone you know. She has been a real gift and a blessing to Megan and Kendall.

Now, Megan and Kendall and Luna are coming home!


Yes! And we are thrilled and excited to welcome them back to the U.S. and to finally meet our sweet little granddaughter puppy.

But.

There is a problem.


The PLOT Line
When Megan and Kendall bought their non-refundable airplane tickets from DELTA AIRLINES to fly home in August, they were told by  DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEES that yes,  they thought  DELTA would allow pets to fly with pet parents, in the special pet cargo area, and it would only cost $200. They did not book the flight through a Delta employee, but did it online. And they couldn't actually book Luna's transport until 14 days before travel (airline rules) but they put the money aside for it.

Apparently, they didn't see this page on Delta's website: Pet Travel FAQs.

And as responsible pet owners, Megan and Kendall got all the paper work done (sort of a pet passport), bought her a travel-safe carrier, and then waited to book her passage.

***CAUTION: This is where the Momma Bear wants to rear back and slap someone, or at the very least, give them a stern talking to. It's not pleasant. You might want to send young children out of the room.***


The PLOT Twist
When they tried to schedule Luna's transport last week, DELTA AIRLINES informed them that they had an embargo on pet travel from July through mid-September, May 15 through September 15, due to the heat. Which almost sounds reasonable except that:

  • They were within the so-called embargo time when they booked the human tickets—and no one at DELTA AIRLINES bothered to mention there might be a problem. (Good one, customer service.)
  • None of the There are other airlines flying out of Taipei that do not have an embargo on pet travel. (Don't they have the same weather...? I don't understand.)

  • There IS an exception for pet travel if it's a military transfer. (What, they don't mind endangering military animals?) 

  • We know for a fact It is our understanding that a non-military puppy traveled via DELTA AIRLINES just two weeks ago. (YES! During the embargo time!!) (Maybe it was a Kardashian puppy?)

Oh, and even though they booked their tickets based on misinformation (or rather lack of information) provided by DELTA AIRLINES, Unfortunately, they cannot get their money back and book with another airline.


The Climax
As it stands now, Megan and Kendall are scheduled to fly home August 15th—without Luna. (This gives me a lump in my throat just thinking about it.)

Their only option is to pay a transport company to bring Luna to Los Angeles on another airline, and then rent a car (they don't have a car here in the U.S. yet) and drive down and pick her up.

Expected expenses: $2,000. (Personally, I think they're estimating low.)

They don't have that kind of money and neither do I!

Their solution: To set up a Go Fund Me page and hope that all their family, friends, and friends of family and friends will donate a few dollars each.

They'll even accept donations from complete strangers!

And I think this is a good solution, sort of. At least, if it's successful, it will get Luna home to Utah where she belongs.


BUT

I also think that people should know why they need this money in the first place. It wasn't bad planning or foolishness on their part.

It was BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM DELTA AIRLINES!

It was bad service back in July when they booked the tickets. And it's bad service now when DELTA AIRLINES  refuses to help find a solution.

If DELTA AIRLINES had offered any type of help: an exception, a refund, an attempt to work with another airline, ANYTHING at all, I wouldn't be writing this post.

But they have offered zilch. And as the Mom, I am TICKED OFF! 

Delta has offered some suggestions, but no affordable solutions.


What Do I Want?
I want to raise my voice. I want to cry foul! I want to make so much noise that the CEO of DELTA AIRLINES will get involved and help out.

And I want Delta and other airlines to consider creating an area in cargo that can be cooled enough for safe pet transport. With so many people flying these days for a variety of reasons, it would be cutting edge to create this option.

Ideally, DELTA AIRLINES would step up and make an exception (like they do for military transfers), or refund the human tickets so they could get a flight on another airline (the ones that seem to be able to figure out how to fly in summer temperatures).

I doubt that will happen. I doubt the powers that be at DELTA AIRLINES will even hear about this—at least not in time to help my kids. Megan and Kendall are flying home in only one week.

But I do really want DELTA AIRLINES to hear about this and to answer some questions:

  • WHY didn't your employee inform my kids when they bought their tickets that they'd be flying during an embargo and wouldn't be able to transport their puppy?

  • WHY can't Delta planes transport pets in the heat, like all the other airlines flying out of Taipeii?

  • If the heat is such a terrible risk to pets, which is what my kids were told, WHY are exceptions made for military transfers? And WHY was that other dog allowed to fly the end of July?

None of this makes any sense to me. And it all seems very unfair to this mom.

If you think this is unfair too,
If you would be willing to help my kids get their puppy back to the U.S., please help this message go viral on social media.

Use this link: 
http://bit.ly/14l0cwz 
and the hashtags #deltadropstheball #getlunahome

And if you could help out even a little bit,
please donate at Get Luna Home!

Thanks!



2 comments:

Lindzee said...

This is absolutely ridiculous! The Delta employees who did this should be forced to eat nothing but dog food until this situation is straightened out and all three of them are back in Utah.

Rebecca Lamoreaux said...

I've never had good experiences with Delta. I simply refuse to fly with them anymore! Good for you making a stand! I'll gladly pass this along with my twitter :)