2 pugs die on Jet Airways flight, owner to sue airline

24 Jun 2009 | by | Posted in: Wag News


NEW DELHI: Jimmy and Batnu, four and three years old, respectively, were two healthy pugs who boarded Jet flight 9W 370 from Mumbai to Delhi at 3.30pm on Saturday. When they landed at IGI airport two hours later and were handed over to their owner, both dogs were dead.

Airlines officials allegedly told the shocked owner, Rajendra Tandon, senior vice-president with a textile firm who was flying in the same flight, that the dogs died because of "lack of oxygen". Tandon immediately demanded verification by a veterinary doctor and was taken to a vet in Shanti Niketan.

"There, the doctor confirmed that lack of oxygen could have caused the death. I was crestfallen. I never imagined that my dogs could die in the airplane. I am going to sue the airlines as they have killed my children. I gave them two healthy and happy pugs and they returned me two dead ones," said an inconsolable Tandon, who was shifting from Mumbai to Delhi and has taken up residence at south Delhi's Gulmohar Enclave.

Jet Airways, meanwhile, denied that negligence could have caused the deaths. Said an airline spokesperson, "The cargo compartment which carries live animals always has suitable conditions for the animals, including air conditioning. We have been carrying livestock for several years and nothing like this has ever happened before. In this particular case, we cannot say what caused the deaths but we deeply regret the incident."

However, Tandon was not convinced. "This was not the first time my pugs have travelled in a flight. When I bought Jimmy four months back in Bangkok, he was just two months old. It is a case of sheer negligence and I will take the faulty airline to court so that such incidents don't recur," said Tandon, 53.

While veterinary doctors said lack of proper air pressurization could have caused the deaths, international advisories for shipping dogs clearly say that pug-nosed breeds like bulldogs, boxers and pugs should not travel by air as they have a breathing problems even on the ground and breathing becomes a little more difficult in flights. Some airlines have in the past banned carrying these dogs after similar incidents.

For Tandon's wife, Sunita, the dogs were her constant companions after the couple's two children went to Chennai and Aurangabad for further studies. "We had bought Jimmy from Bangkok four years back for Rs 25,000 and an year later acquired Batnu from Mumbai. It is difficult to comprehend that they have been snatched away from us in this cruel way. I wish I could have kept the pugs in my lap and ensured their safety during the flight," said a teary Sunita Tandon. Around the world, airlines carry pets either in the passenger cabin as excess baggage or as cargo. In this case, they they were being carried as excess baggage but were in the cargo hold



Anil @ DoggiesDude
*wonders why human lives are compensated in case of any accidents in planes*

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 29 Jun 2009

Sonya Kochhar
this is really unfortunate. I cannot imagine loosing any of my dogs!

By: Sonya Kochhar | 29 Jun 2009

Priya Shergill
Most Airlines do not permit carriage of live animals and birds in the cabin. They have to be appropraitely crated according to standards and conditions laid out by the International Air Transport Association. Carriage of flat-nosed breeds of Dogs is strictly a no-no in the Summer months and some Airlines will not accept these Dogs at all. The time between transportation of Pugs from the Air Terminal to the Aircraft and the closing and cooling of the Hold by the Captain takes well over 20 minutes and this in the Summer heat and humidity is sure to kill a Pug. 20 minutes in unbearable heat conditions is all it takes for a Pug to collapse with heat exhaustion. The difficulty in breathing also comes with heat exhaustion.

By: Priya Shergill | 14 Aug 2009

Yes, you can sue the airlines. it is their duty to see the airconditioner is on and that their is suffiecient ventilation in the cargo for the animal or they should not carry them. i know off quiet some customers who have taken theirs pets by flight to and fro and have not face this kind of problem, i think it is cause India still doesnt how to work professionally.

By: Sunita | 28 Aug 2009

Warren Chang
Did you inform the air line 48 hrs before that there will be live animal travelling as the pilots need to switch on or pressurise the live cargo hold well in advance.

Remember, there are so many reasons that could make it yr fault.

By: Warren Chang | 28 Aug 2009

Agam Prabhakar
Warren, i think if its a rule to inform 48hrs in advance then one should do it but IF the AIRLINE has boarded a live animal and is aware of it travelling, irrespective of the owner not informing, it should be the duty of the airline staff to do so... they dont let pets travel for free..

By: Agam Prabhakar | 29 Aug 2009

Fall out of this is airlines will avoid taking pets on board.As it is it is so bad a situation to move your pet,it is IATA guideline that airlines can not refuse to fly your companion dog.Most smaller cities only smaller aircraft operate and hence no pressurised cargo hold.Everytime u get back ur checkedin baggage and find it cold,popped up container,u know the hold climate control not working.It is painful to loose any life in any accident,yet life must go on.Atleast 1000times more human infant mortalities happen in rural India for the need of oxygen during birth.Even in large cities,lack of oxygen and lack of power kills very high no. of people in big nursing homes.Next time when u visit any hospital,
and see an oxygen cylinder on standby,check it,80 times out of hundred u will find it empty,its guage not working.Life goes on....

The 48 hrs mensioned in above comments has to do nothing with pressurising time.It is only to put an aircraft which holds pressure in cargo hold,thanks to ageing fleet of aircraft airlines hv.Another reason is certain cargo like poltry,dead bodies,birds etc. can not be combined in one cargo,and each of these hv different priorities.Also airline wants to be seen giving sufficient time in case they hv to regret flying ur puppy...That aircraft cargo generally holds pressure,did hv a leak and did not maintain the pressure on that flight.As simple as that.

By: PRADEEP KOUSHIK | 02 Mar 2010

In India keeping pets in the brake van of a train is no better. But I would say travel with pets during cooler seasons or book a coupe First Class where you are allowed to take your pets with you.

By: gspal | 04 Jun 2010

Jayanthi Rahul
Just a doubt.. Is it possible to carry a pug in passenger cabin?? both domestic and international travel..

By: Jayanthi Rahul | 30 Jul 2011

Anil @ DoggiesDude
Not allowed in Domestic flights (India)

By: Anil @ DoggiesDude | 30 Jul 2011

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