A Minnesota woman is finding out that the friendly skies aren't so furrriendly after all — for pets or their owners.
Woman Says Airline Held Her Puppy 'Hostage' For 33 Hours
The ordeal started when Mary Nguyen, a 25-year-old student and Minneapolis resident, paid a moving company, Pet Air Carrier, $3,000 to transport her puppy, Bunny, on a May 24 flight with Delta Airlines.
The destination? Guatemala, where the 8-month-old German shepherd was to live with Nguyen's husband.
After driving to Wisconsin to ensure that Bunny's documentation and vaccination records were in order and properly endorsed, Nguyen put Bunny on his plane in a 700 Series crate, the largest size accepted by commercial aircraft.
While the flight itself was routine and uneventful, officials at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City refused to release the 62-pound pupper—allegedly because employees with Delta misplaced his paperwork.
"They have all the documents they need on their scratch pad to release her but refuse to do so without the hard copy that they lost [but tracked down]," she said Friday evening. "The document has been in their possession the whole [time] since I've surrendered my dog over."
Adding insult to injury, Nguyen claimed in an interview with CBS News that she encountered unexpected turbulence when the airline tried to extort an additional sum of $3,000 from the couple in exchange for the doggo's release.
"It's been 27 hours and @delta GUA still won't release bunny on documents that they lost. They've located the documents and are asking for an additional $3000 once the documents arrive through fed ex. THIS IS NOT OK. They want to hold her hostage for another 2 days until the documents arrive. #justiceforbunny #mydogslifematters #releasemydog #deltasucks"
When Bunny's status continued to drag on in bureaucratic limbo, the stressed Minnesotan took to social media to voice her complaints in a series of posts on Instagram and Facebook.
"This is my poor puppy, Bunny. Her flight arrived in guatemala at noon today but @delta won't release her without the paperwork that they lost. This is the paperwork that she CANNOT leave the U.S. without, but she's obviously in Guatemala meaning it was there. She's been in delta's possession the whole time since I've dropped her off with all of the paperwork required. I've spent all day calling delta but they're not able to help me do anything to release her to our custody without the paperwork that they lost. Bunny does not deserve this."
On Friday the 26th, after nearly 33 hours in captivity, this very good boy was finally released to his human dad, thanks in part to the media reports calling attention to the unacceptable delay.
"We know that pets are important members of the family and are working directly with the customer."
The airline also announced that they would be refunding the costs associated with the dog's flight.
For her part, Nguyen was wary but relieved to have Bunny free.
"THANK YOU EVERYONE! Bunny has been released from @delta and we're just waiting to be given the okay to be able to take her home now."
Have you flown your pup somewhere? Tell us about it in the comment section below!