Delta Air Lines had quite a doggie dilemma last week.
Maria Nguyen, a student from Minneapolis, Minn., claimed that the legacy carrier has kept her dog “hostage” in an airport in Guatemala because the pet of the paper was misplaced and that the air carrier is only released her dog, after he was held for 33 hours in a storage room.
But a representative for Delta tells Fox News that the officials of the Guatemalan airport were actually behind the woman, the dog of long-term incarceration, while they waited for the proper documentation.
Nguyen says she sent her dog — an 8-month-old German Shepherd named Bunny in order to go and live with her husband in Guatemala. To facilitate the trip, Nguyen used the services of Pet air Carrier — a USDA-certified service that works to move pets, nationally and internationally to obtain and fill out the necessary documentation for international pet relocation services.
The student also claims she drove all the way to Wisconsin to Bunny’s paperwork approved before the dog the trip.
Then, on May 26, Bunny was placed on a Delta flight that left Minneapolis at 5:25 pm, Despite taking the necessary precautions and completing the appropriate paper, Nguyen says that her husband was not allowed to retrieve the dog from the International Airport La Aurora in Guatemala City until the evening of 28 May.
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According to Nguyen, officials at the airport informed her that the dog’s paperwork was misplaced and even though they had access to the digital copies, they needed the physical ones prior to the release of Bunny.
“They have all the documents they need on their notebook to release her, but refuse to do so without the hard copy that they lost,” Nguyen told CBS News on Friday. “The document in their possession the entire time since I have given my dog.”
A representative for Delta told Fox News that the company is not sure why or how the documentation was misplaced, but that they are currently looking into the situation.
However, Nguyen further alleges that Delta told her they would have to pay $3,000 to have the dog to her husband, and asks her to describe the ordeal as a hostage.
A representative for Delta tells Fox News that the Delta and a Guatemalan official who informed her that she owed an additional 3,000 Guatemalan quetzal and not the dollar — most likely to be requested by the Guatemalan airport officials in order to cover import duties, as well as the costs of hiring a customs agent.
It’s been 27 hours, and @delta GUA still not loose bunny on documents that they lost. They have the documents and ask for an extra $3000 as soon as the documents arrive via fed-ex. THIS IS NOT OK. They want to hold her hostage for 2 more days until the documents arrive. #justiceforbunny #mydogslifematters #releasemydog #deltasucks
Delta says that they, as a company, never try to collect extra cash from Nguyen (and, in fact, covered these additional costs) which came to slightly more than $400 in the U. S currency, to help facilitate Bunny’s release. Delta also claims that they are not aware of the circumstances of the particular Nguyen’s travel, so they are not sure what costs they expected to pay or has previously paid in connection with her dog travel.
Regardless, Nguyen claims that they are overwhelmed when they hear of Bunny’s captivity, and she spent the next 33 hours making phone calls and securing the release of her dog.
Eventually, Nguyen was aware that Bunny’s paperwork was found and rushed to Guatemala. Later that day, the dog was released to her husband.
“After 33 hours, they finally released Bunny,” Nguyen told MarketWatch.
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Delta tells Fox News that she also worked with the customer and the airport, officials of the documents that they needed. They also confirmed to Fox News that they the refund of the customs duties and taxes Nguyen made by Delta, as well as the shipping costs, hotel fees and any extra costs.
“We know that pets are important members of the family and worked directly with the customer to ensure that she is reunited with her pet dog in advance of the paperwork arriving. We are fully a refund of the consignment,” Delta told Fox News in a statement.
Nguyen pet arrived in life after her Delta flight, which is more than five Delta-flying pet owners can say about the recent travel experiences: Earlier this year, the Ministry of Transport determined Delta the worst airline when it came to the animal to kill it, with a total of five animal deaths in 2016 only, or 1.23 deaths for every 10,000 animals transported. (United was the worst offender, with nine total animal deaths in 2016, or 2.11 for every 10,000 animals transported.)