A three-year-old dog has died in the hands of China Eastern, whose job was to transport it between Guangzhou and Wuhan. Incidents happen – United killed a rabbit named Simon that was slated to become the world’s biggest only a month prior – but the way the airline’s handling this incident is beyond ridiculous.
China Eastern Airbus A321 Taking Off Hong Kong Airport
Doudou, the Golden Retriever that died in the hands of the airline, attempted to escape, causing the barbed wire cage to tear him apart. He didn’t last long due to the injuries that he received, and he died shortly after.
What The Issues Are
The first issue I have is Doudou being carried in a barbed wire cage to start with. I get that animals might have to be caged up when they’re traveling on a flight for a few hours. A barbed wire cage, however, is a different story.
For reference, this is a barbed wire cage, courtesy of Jonathan Harrison Images:
When your pet is transported onto a flight, do you expect to be transferred in that sort of a carrier? If all animals are transported like this, my cat is never leaving the ground. However, that’s only the smaller of the issues that this presents.
The Big Issue Comes With The Airline’s Attitude
According to The Telegraph:
China Eastern Airlines, who were transporting the dog, appeared to have further incensed Chinese web-users by offering the dog’s owner compensation based on the pet’s weight – adopting the policy it uses for damaged or lost luggage.
The owner, who is surnamed Zuo in media reports, said she was offered 100 yuan per kilogram, which works out at 3,500 yuan (£405) for his 35kg dog.
“This is emotionally unacceptable to me, as my dog was like my child,” Ms Zuo told Thecover.cn.
China Eastern is compensating for the dead dog as they would a normal piece of damaged or lost luggage.
I don’t even have words to describe how asinine this policy is. I’m sure dog lovers all over the world are furious at this policy, and so am I. A living animal bound to a family shall be treated as a living animal bound to a family, not as an object – a piece of lost luggage. No pet owner should ever lose their pet and be treated the same way as if they lost a piece of luggage.
But Wait! – There’s More
It looks like a dog successfully escaped China Eastern’s processes at Wuhan Airport, and was shot 50 times instead of being caught. The photos are too graphic for the Young Travelers of Hong Kong, but visit The Shanghaiist if you must.
China Eastern is in no place to handle animals of every sort, as proven by these two incidents alone. An escaped dog should be caught and, at least, returned to the process that takes the dog to where it needs to be. Not shot. 50 times.
When the Dr. Dao incident happened in April, I came up with some ways that United could save their brand, as I knew it was going to fall apart in a limited amount of time. I felt sorry for Oscar Munoz, as he had genuinely wanted to change the airline for the better and clearly had overlooked the incident. I knew that if United started trying (which they did, as they revamped their policies shortly after), they’d be possibly able to save themselves.
I’m not even bothered to help an airline with such asinine policies when it comes to handling pets. China Eastern is the epitome of ignorance that could happen in the airline industry. I hope the consumer market treats them the way they should be treated.
What do you think of China Eastern’s recent pet handling incidents?