Please be wary of transporting your pet by SINGAPORE AIRLINES. Their negligence killed our pet Charlie.
We had planned to take our pet by Singapore Airlines to Ho Chi Minh. On Sep 2nd our scheduled travel date we arrived early as at the PPS Counter to check in our luggage and Charlie… We were anxious about the move but with respect to Charlie we were very confident that he was in safe hands with Singapore Airlines. That is where we made a terrible mistake.
Charlie’s crate was secured with plastic tags. The pet handling staff were not willing to even put the tags. Charlie was barking and they were scared. All pets do get anxious when the owners leave them even for some time. I asked them if they wanted to keep the leash lest they needed to open the crate in case of any issues. They said it was not required. I presumed that if there was any emergency they would have a leash on hand if they had to open the crate. We were so wrong about the blind faith that we placed in Singapore Airlines.
Charlie was wheeled away with his crate in a trolley around 11 am. We proceeded to have breakfast and then around 12:30 pm we went to the boarding gate. We told them at the boarding gate that we had a pet.They told us he was a bit anxious and had some mucus and if we wanted to see him. Please note this. Mucus or saliva is a very normal thing for a dog and we felt we should not make him more anxious just before boarding.
We boarded the aircraft and while on board the Captain made an announcement that we had a pet on board the aircraft. We knew Charlie had boarded from the announcement.In just an hour and a half we would land and then maybe in another half an hour or so we would be able to take him after completing the airport formalities. Our agent in Vietnam would be there to handle that for us.
We landed in HCMC . We were received and taken to a separate counter to complete the immigration formalities faster. We thought this was because we had a pet .
We completed the immigration only to taken aside and told by the Singapore Airlines staff that Charlie had passed away. We broke down in complete shock. We wanted to see him. We were in for a bigger shock.
Charlie died not on the flight but he was not on the plane as he died in Singapore. We were terribly shocked. We demanded to speak to the Singapore staff but the Vietnam staff could not put anyone on the phone for us and no one from Singapore attempted to reach us. They got somebody on the line after I kept saying I need to know. We had informed that you that the dog had mucus and if you wanted to see him. They never told us that our dog was severely distressed .As per airline policies pets who are severely distressed are never allowed to fly and the owners are informed that they are not fit to fly…
We questioned how the captain made the announcement about the pet on the aircraft when Charlie had not boarded. They said there was no time to inform him. He was dead when they brought him to the plane and since they could put a dead dog on the plane they did not want the flight to be delayed because of this incident . They chose to inform us on arrival…
Singapore Airlines is responsible for our pet’s death. He was a perfectly healthy dog. They were clearly trying to cover up negligence on their part… How could he have become motionless suddenly? What happened prior to that.? Who was there with him? Why did that person not alert the staff to reach us? Was there anyone with him in the first place? The presence of another human being even not known to him would have given him hope and could have saved his life…
After registering the complaint we called the dog undertakers who came to collect Charlie around 4:30 pm. It is only when they removed Charlie from the crate we were horrified to see that he had chewed off his paw partially there was blood on his paw and on the mouth . He has used his paws to break open the crate and in desperation had chewed up the wee pad. He appears to have suffered a heart attack from the stress .
Charley deserves justice. Another pet should not meet the same fate. SIA has no right to be flying pets given the negligence they showed in Charlie’s case unless they come out with revisions in their pet handling policies. As expected we never got email from SIA even on Sunday . This shows their indifference to what happened.
Time can heal certain wounds but the loss of a loved one hurts a lot and takes many years to heal. It does not matter if the loved one is a pet or a human. Pet lovers and owners will understand this.