For many of us, our dogs are like family, an important part of our life we could not imagine not being in it anymore. And, for one woman, the nightmare of being without her beloved pet has turned into reality after airline giant Delta lost her dog.
The incident occurred on August 18 at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. That airport is the busiest airport in the United States, and serves as the primary hub for Delta.
Traveler Paula Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic was traveling with her dog, Maia from Santo Domingo to San Francisco via Atlanta, when issues with her visa meant she was unable to fly to San Francisco while her situation was being handled by US Customs and Border Patrol. Delta promised to watch her dog. That’s where the tragedy starts.
Here is the New York Post with more.
But when it became time to board her flight home the next day, Rodriguez was told that her rescue pooch was nowhere to be found.
A woman whose dog was misplaced by Delta Airlines was offered $1,800, an amount the woman’s attorney called an “insult.”
Maia was lost at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport while wearing a puka shell collar, as seen in the above photo.
Due to US regulations, officers told Rodriguez that she would not be allowed to remain at the airport to search for the dog, so she reluctantly boarded without Maia with the hope that Delta would put her dog on the next flight out.
On Friday, CBS’s Begnaud said that while the “devasted” Rodriguez returned to the Dominican Republic, her mother has traveled to Atlanta to help Delta’s search for Maia. They reportedly scoured the airport and shelters around the city, turning up no trace of Maia.
Rodriguez believes her dog escaped its soft, pink travel crate while she was being questioned by border patrol officers. Now, the dog may still be missing — and terrified — in the country’s largest airport.
“She’s been missing for more than 72 hours in the biggest airport in the United States,” Rodriguez told Atlanta News First in an August 22 report. “Without food, without water, she must be scared.”
Now that it has been more than two weeks, Delta has said in a statement that its $1,800 gesture is not an “offer of compensation” and insisted they “have shown empathy through many actions, gestures and communications with our customer.”
Deferring their attorneys, the airline added that it “remains heartbroken” over the matter.
Rodriguez’s family has released flyers and launched an online fund-raiser so that they can continue their search for Maia in Atlanta.
Rodriguez, however, thinks Delta’s efforts have fallen short, said Begnaud.
“If you’re flying in and out of Atlanta — this might sound silly, but keep an eye out for this dog,” he urged in a TikTok report. “There’s a chance she’s still on the airport property.”
“She could have gotten out, so if you live in Atlanta, if you live anywhere near the airport, please have an eye out for this dog.”
Airline crews in Atlanta are “still on the lookout,” Begnaud reported, and Rodriguez has been instructed to reach out to Delta’s lawyers regarding the investigation.
Yikes. What a nightmare for her and her dog. Delta is certainly going to take a PR hit from this one.