A man was delayed in Toronto and missed his flight to San Francisco. Despite assuring him that his cats would not be separated from him, Air Canada sent them on the flight without him. The cats have since been reunited with their owner, but he now is threatening to sue Air Canada. My response is that he should be thankful his cats are still alive…
Man Considering Lawsuit Against Air Canada For Transporting His Cats Without Him
Some of the saddest stories I’ve written on Live and Let’s Fly are when animals (usually dogs) are placed in the cargo belly of a plane and die, usually due to airline negligence. I do not have any pets, but if I did there is no way I would ever check them in the cargo hold of an airplane. Though small, it is not a risk I am willing to take.
Abbas Zoeb is emigrating to the United States, but was held up by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) due to some type of discrepancy with his visa paperwork. As a result, he missed his flight. He claims Air Canada assured him that his cats, Mimi and Bubba, could not travel without him.
But while his checked baggage were pulled off the flight, the cats traveled without him to San Francisco (SFO). Zoeb was initially given the option of traveling to SFO to get the cats or have someone pick them up. Since his emigration was delayed, he asked that the cats be brought back to Toronto. Air Canada agreed and Mimi and Bubba were placed on the flight back, arriving back into YYZ the same day at 11:45pm.
All’s well that ends well?
Not quite. Zoeb laments that the cats were “tired” and “were not playful” and that they were sneezing for several days. Air Canada refunded his ticket, pet fees, other baggage fees, and offered him a C$200 voucher. He’s livd about that and is now threatening to sue, adding:
“$200 is totally insignificant for how much I’ve been going through and how much time I’ve put towards this and what my pets have gone through. I did let them know that that is not an acceptable apology or not an acceptable amount if they want to rectify anything….They said that’s the most they can do.”
I’m not one to shy away from threatening lawsuits when appropriate…but here I really don’t think he can show harm. And his “only $200” complaint rings hollow considering Air Canada refunded his trip when the reason for missing it was beyond its control (blame the U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
Air Canada, commendably it seems to me, has stopped accepting pet reservations through the remainder of summer, acknowledging in essence that it is not worth the risk.
“Due to longer than usual airport delays, and for the safety and comfort of pets, we will not be accepting new requests for pets traveling in the baggage compartment until September 12, 2022.”
(previously-made pet bookings will still be honored)
Interestingly, he will still emigrate to the USA, but leave his cats behind until he can arrange ground transport for them all the way from Toronto to San Francisco. That seems like a big risk too…perhaps the takeaway is that most dogs and cats are not meant to travel long distances.
Air Canada sent a pair of cats to San Francisco without their “father.” Now he is threatening to sue Air Canada, even though the cats were reunited with him and are doing well. While I absolutely do not excuse Air Canada for sending Mimi and Bubba without Zoeb, I really think he should be thankful the cats are still alive and only tired or sneezing…
image: Abbas Zoeb / Facebook (beatiful cats!)