Hendrix, a 6-year-old dog, was put on the wrong flight in Newark, United Airlines says
The dog was supposed to fly to Phoenix and ended up instead in Shannon, Ireland
United's staff walked and fed the dog until he was reunited with his owner, the airline says
It was dog, gone.
That’s what happened to an English springer spaniel named Hendrix that was scheduled to fly from Newark to Phoenix this week and was put on the wrong flight – to Ireland.
Six-year-old Hendrix was traveling in cargo on United Airlines on Thursday when he was put on the wrong flight, United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said Friday.
When the airline realized the dog had been put on the wrong flight, immediate steps were taken to return Hendrix to his owner, she said.
The first word owner Edith Albach got about the mix-up was in a phone call from the airline 10 minutes before the flight Hendrix was supposed to be on landed in Phoenix.
“I felt like somebody punched me in the stomach. I mean, that’s my dog. That’s like my child,” Albach said.
While on the unexpected detour, Hendrix was walked and fed by United staff, and he was able to spend time with his owner when he returned to Newark before departing for his original destination of Phoenix, McCarthy said.
Hendrix landed safely in Phoenix Friday night, affiliate KNXV reported. Albach’s daughter Meredith Grant was there to let the very excited spaniel out of the kennel upon landing.
“When my mom called me I was like ‘my dog got sent to frickin Ireland? How Ireland? Not even like he went to Florida…he’s in Ireland,’” she told KNXV.
United apologized and offered a full refund, Albach said.
But she says she isn’t so sure Hendrix will be flying again anytime soon.
“I wasn’t even looking for a refund. I just wanted somebody to say we screwed up,” she said. “That’s not what they said.”
Grant is happy to have her dog back, but wants United to punish the person responsible.
“They should not have their job anymore, I mean, he’s been on a plane for 24 hours.”
Meredith’s father Joe felt helpless for his family during the ordeal.
“What do you say, except, ‘I hope he gets some Guinness and corned beef and cabbage,’” he told KNXV.
CNN’s Chelsea J. Carter, Jake Carpenter, and Greg Morrison contributed to this report.