Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Wasn't Jack The Cat Found Earlier?

After sixty one days, Jack The Cat has finally been found.  For those that haven’t been following the story, two months ago Karen Pascoe boarded a flight from JFK airport in New York bound for San Francisco with her two cats Jack and Barry stored in the cargo hold of the airplane.  But before the plane had taken off, she was shocked to learn that one of her cats, Jack, had somehow not made it on the plane.  But how did this happen?  And where was he?

At first it seemed like American Airlines was going to be extremely cooperative with Karen in the finding of the cat.  But if you look at it a little more closely, it seems that any cooperation they gave towards helping finding Jack was done to not tarnish their image in the public eye more than it was to actually finding the cat.
When people began deluging the American Airlines Facebook page expressing their disdain for how something like losing a cat could have happened, they began selectively deleting posts that were expressing any sentiment against the airline.  But at their credit, they set food out in the airport and set traps in the hopes of catching Jack if he was wandering around.  Also, they handed out fliers and organized search parties.

The search for Jack was done also through private people just trying to help out.  They searched the airport high and low, but didn’t turn up any results.  Part of this was due to the fact that American Airlines prohibited members of Jack the Cat search parties from searching certain areas of the airport.  Seemed like AA wanted to  sweep this whole thing under the rug as silently as possible; while carrying about the public image that their own private search was still on.  They weren’t exactly forthcoming in their cooperativeness.

Which brings me to this week.  Jack the Cat was found after he fell through a ceiling tile at JFK airport in an office for the Department of Customs and Border Protection.  In the same terminal he was lost in.  I sure hope that American Airlines doesn’t take any credit in finding Jack.  He kinda found himself.  Now, this is more evidence that points the finger at AA for not doing as thorough of a search as they could have.
They clearly don’t take the advice they give us when we fly.  The cat fell out of a ceiling tile.  It never occurred to them to check the ceiling.  Isn’t this the same business that employs people to specifically tell us to look in the overhead bins to make sure we didn’t lose anything?  They tell us this to make sure we didn’t lost an umbrella or an Ipad.  Well, they lost a whole cat and they didn’t even bother looking above their own eyebrows.  They could have found him weeks ago if they would have just gotten a ladder and a flashlight.

Right now, Jack is sitting in critical condition in a vet’s office in New York due to fatty liver disease, which is caused by malnutrition.  They are giving a 50/50 chance on if he will actually survive.  But he could have been found earlier if American Airlines just used their heads and looked above their own.

Who knows if any legal action will result from this directed toward American Airlines.  But it definitely should raise some concerns towards every major airline in the way they handle pets in cargo holds.  Both of Karen Pascoe’s cats were apparently stacked on top of each other and Jack got loose.  There should be an across the board reform in the handling of pets on airplanes because of this case.  It’s not the first time it’s happened, and it will not be the last until the airlines realize that the beloved family pet should be treated with a little bit more care than a Samsonite bag.