United PetSafe success story…a breath of fresh air

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Since the death of Simon the rabbit last week, United has been grilled yet again by the masses.  Matthew from Live and Let’s Fly wrote an eye-opening, fact-based article about animal transport in the U.S.  Meanwhile, people keep talking, and unfortunately lately it’s been mostly about the negative.  But today I found an open letter with a very different tone and I must say it was so refreshing!  Not because it was about United, no.  I just needed a break of bad news, complaints, etc. related to any airline.

InForum is a daily newspaper and website from Fargo, ND.  Though, we don’t expect this story to make national news, it’s helped me to keep things in the right perspective.  The story is related by Fargo residents Barb and Russ Nelson.

Here’s the full letter:

We had it all planned, I was going to fly with our new English Cocker Spaniel puppy, Tommy, underneath the seat in front of me from Phoenix to Fargo. What we didn’t realize was that he was going to gain 10 pounds between his fourth and fifth month of life.

I called the breeder, Tom Ness, and he said go ahead and fly him on United but do not sedate him. Check. I called the PetSafe office at United Airlines. That was one of the best calls I ever made. They really care. They really do.

Our trip started out at 1:45 a.m., as the rules are you have to feed and water them four hours before the flight. Check. At 4 a.m. I was checking him into United Airlines’ PetSafe air cargo in Phoenix. Got him all checked in, got me checked in, and we were on our way.

We had a layover in Denver for one hour, which is the minimum for PetSafe. As I was getting ready to board the flight from Denver to Minneapolis, they said, “We will notify you when your puppy is on the flight. We don’t want you on that flight until we are 100 percent certain that Tommy is on the flight.”

Telephone rings at the boarding desk, Tommy’ is on the flight, and I board. They didn’t just put Tommy with luggage and send him over to the airplane that way. They drove him in an air conditioned PetSafe van.

We landed in Minneapolis where Russ was picking us up. Went to the carousel to pick up my luggage and there he was in the office right next to the carousel. There he was, sitting on the desk waiting for one of us to pick him up.

The attendant didn’t just say goodbye, she carried him out to the curb with me and waited for my husband to pick us up. I cannot tell you how wonderful United was to us and our wonderful little puppy, Tommy. Thank you United Airlines.

No need to say more.  It’s just good to remember that there’s still good folks out there doing a great job and providing great customer care, yes, even in United.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Since we’re talking pets, meet our 3 kids:

*Featured post image from united.com.

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