To start out I will note that working within the rescue world I have shipped and received a number of dogs thru Delta DASH Cargo and all the previous ones have gone off without a hitch.
This morning I had a dog coming in from Allentown, PA to Seattle, WA. A friend is moving home and pre shipped her dachshund to me so she would only have to manage the one she was taking as carry on the day she flies home. I had her ship the pup with Delta Cargo because they have proven extremely reliable in the past.
The bad service starts first thing this morning when she shows up at the Allentown airport a bit before her 5 am cargo check in time. The ticket agent was surly and rude and very short with her. He acted like she was a major hassle shipping cargo on his shift. He had to leave that airport that early to make the fastest connecting flight thru Detroit to Seattle. The whole point of shipping DASH is that they get the dogs from point A to B with the minimum of layovers and time in transit.
Now comes the big scoop of WTF and some really good service on the part of the cargo office staff. When I arrived to pick up the dog there was no trace to be found of him. There was no evidence anywhere in the computers that he had ever been shipped. The airbill number did not even exist. You see idiot agent filled out the paperwork manually and stuck the tags/labels on the crate and sent the kennel on its merry way. Only he didn't put it in the computer or tell anyone else to enter it.
At this point the office staff at the cargo office start becoming really concerned (the good service part). They are not happy that the dog is MIA. Supervisors are called and people start making phone calls and checking for the dog in both Detroit and Allentown and even in Atlanta because he could possibly have been routed thru there based on flights out of Allentown this morning. The folks in Allentown confirmed that the baggage handlers had loaded the dog on the proper flight bound for Detroit. They also finally located the hand written airbill. The folks in Seattle started checking everywhere for the dog. Three hours in and still no sign of the kennel anywhere. Someone finally called over to lost and found and lo and behold there is the pup.
Somehow the dog made its plane transfer in Detroit and headed off to Seattle without ever being in the computer. I guess the big SEA in sharpie on the side of the kennel was a good thing. Because he is not in the computer the guys unloading him do not know if he is cargo or passenger baggage. This is a very important difference as one goes to the Cargo terminal and one goes to baggage claim at the airport proper. Sending him to either one would have been better than the alternative the baggage folks chose. Here is the big WTF. So without telling anyone at either baggage claim or cargo a baggage handler sent the pup straight off to the lost and found office. And the lost and found office just left him sitting there without calling any of the phone numbers on the paperwork attached to the kennel. Either number would have received an immediate response. The packing slip plastic is not even opened.
So 12 hours into his 9 hour trip that little dachshund was so very happy to see the tree outside the Cargo offices.
I'll still keep using DASH but I think I will stay away from flying pups out of pissant little airports.