Dog Takes Accidental Trip to Ireland After Airline’s Slip-Up

A dog meant to meet his family in , Ariz., ended up on a plane to after he was mistakenly put on the wrong flight from a New Jersey airport.

of Staten Island, N.Y., told that her six-year-old named was scheduled to arrive in in around 9:45 p.m. Thursday evening on a flight out of on .

“They marked everything Phoenix, and put the tags on Phoenix,” she said.

But seven minutes before the flight was supposed to land, she received a phone call from the United Airlines informing her that would not be arriving in Arizona that evening.

“Originally, I thought the dog had died and I started screaming,” she said.

But an airline representative told Lombardo-Albach that her dog was put on the wrong flight, and was en route to Shannon, Ireland, instead of Phoenix.

“I almost fainted,” she said. “My husband and my daughter were already at the airport waiting for the dog.”

Lombardo-Albach’s family is in the process of from New York to Arizona, she said. While her daughter, Meredith Grant, had left for Phoenix on an earlier flight on U.S. Airways on Thursday, she could not take down with her because the airline does not accept any animals as cargo.

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Lombardo-Albach said United told her that when 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.”

flew back to New Jersey on Friday morning, and Lombardo-Albach was there waiting for him when he got off the plane around 11 a.m.. She stayed with him at the airport until 5 p.m., when he boarded his flight for Phoenix.

“They boarded him the last possible minute they could,” she said. “I stayed and watched them physically put the dog on the plane.”

But she said it was a struggle to get back in his crate to travel to Arizona on Friday.

“He was fighting me to put him into the crate. That’s just not like him,” she said.

Lombardo-Albach said United Airlines offered her a free refund for the dog’s flight, but was disappointed that the airline was not more compassionate.

“This was a major failure on United’s part,” she said. “He’s a member of my family and they nearly left him.”

United Airlines spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said in a statement that the airline regretted that Hendrix was boarded on the wrong aircraft.

“We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the situation and will take steps to prevent this from happening again,” she said. “Hendrix’s experience is not typical of the service we provide to the more than 100,000 who travel with us every year.”

Lombardo-Albach just wants the airline to make things right.

“I can’t believe that somebody would be so stupid,” she said. “And if this person doesn’t lose their job, I mean, there are going to be problems.”

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