Airline accidentally sends American family's dog to Saudi Arabia instead of Nashville
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Featured Image Credit: WSMV4/Bernard Golden / Alamy Stock Photo
A family has spoken out after their beloved pet ended up missing from their flight and was stranded in Saudi Arabia.
Madison Miller and her family caught a flight from London Heathrow to Nashville International Airport after deciding to move to Tennessee.
The family's five-year-old dog Bluebell was set to join them on their move, however, the animal didn't end up on their flight.
Upon landing in Nashville, the family were allegedly given the wrong dog, before being told Bluebell hadn't been on the same flight at all and had actually ended up in Saudi Arabia.
Miller told WSMV the family were shown a picture of Bluebell locked in her crate about an hour after landing which confirmed she was indeed in the Arab country.
The pet owner said: "After we knew she was in Saudi Arabia, it was just all hands-on deck. How do we get her back?"
The family had to wait another three days for any updates about Bluebell.
The beloved pet eventually made her way to Nashville, having been forced to take three flights, travelling for over 60 hours.
However, Miller explained when Bluebell arrived at the airport, the family immediately knew something was wrong.
Miller revealed she had hoped the family's reunion with Bluebell would be 'kind of like the reunion you see on YouTube, like she comes out of the crate, she’s wagging and licking your face'.
To the family's horror, Bluebell's reaction was the opposite.
"We had to go and grab her because she was so horrified and that’s when we knew something was wrong," Miller explained.
Miller even claims Bluebell seems like a completely different dog since the incident - picture scenes from Marley and Me - and has been left 'traumatised,' so much so she has damaged the family's home.
Madison told The Mirror: "It's been a 24/7 ordeal, she cries in the night and during the day. It has broken our hearts as her parents. She is our family and we let her down.
"We've paid $3,000 (£2,460) dollars for a behaviourist, and she takes anxiety medication three times a day. I'm afraid of the costs of this. They'll be wracking up hard and fast."
The family 'don't even understand how [such an incident] could happen because there are so many safety checks in place'.
They are now demanding answers as well as seeking financial compensation from IAG Cargo - the company responsible for taking care of Bluebell that day.
A spokesperson from IAG Cargo - who were forwarded the request for comment by British Airways - told WSMV: "We are very sorry for the recent error that occurred during Bluebell’s trip to Nashville. We take the responsibility of caring for people’s loved animals seriously and are investigating how the redirection happened.
"Whilst Bluebell’s route was longer than it should have been, we ensured she was on the first flight back to Nashville from London Heathrow. During her time with us she received refreshments frequently and had time outside to stretch her legs – including regular walks and eight hours with the team at the Heathrow Animal Reception centre who cared for her.
"Despite these measures, we understand that this has been an upsetting situation for Bluebell and her owners and remain in contact with them to resolve the situation."
UNILAD has contacted IAG Cargo and British Airways for comment.