Devastated Family Left With Questions After Their Beloved Dog Dies During Delta Layover In Detroit

An eight-year-old Pomeranian is the latest PR disaster in the air travel industry after the small pup named Alejandro was found to have died during a passenger flight. Alejandro was being transported via his carrier and was discovered to have died while in a cargo facility at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

On May 30th, the small Pomeranian was en route to Newark from Phoenix and passed away during a layover in Michigan. His owner, Michael Dellegrazie, spoke with WDIV-TV and recounted the brief timeline. “When we landed her in Michigan, he was alive at 6:30 a.m., and then at 8:20, he wasn’t moving,” Dellegrazie explains. “We lost a family member.”

Delta released a statement after the incident, stating it was “conducting a thorough review of the situation to find out more about why this may have occurred to ensure it doesn’t happen again.” The biggest concern, however, is that the death of Alejandro wasn’t an isolated incident. 

The Washington Post reported that, in 2017, 24 animals died in transit, though only two occurred on a Delta flight. From 2015 to 2017, Delta reported 18 animal deaths in total, a relatively small number compared to United Airlines’ 41 reported deaths.

The mystery behind the death of Alejandro is what could have possibly happened within the two hours that Dellegrazie checked on his dog. Making matters worse is that Dellegrazie states blood was discovered on Alejandro’s blanket, suggesting foul play. Delta confirmed that a flight attendant checked on the dog about a half-hour before Dellegrazie only to return two-hours-later to a deceased Pomeranian. 

While it sounds like something sinister could have unfolded and it’s easy to blame the airline, Twitter user Martin (@dummokratie) turns it back on Alejandro’s owners, stating “If you love and respect your dog you do not send it as air-cargo.”

Another user, Padj (@tqlmrtnbrd), kind of echoes Martin’s statements, explaining that “it’s really dangerous to fly with your dogs, guys. It’s very stressful for your pet and crews are not equipped to monitor your pet at all times.”

It’s a sentiment that others agreed with. In fact, as much as you’d expect the backlash to fall primarily on the airline, that wasn’t so much the case. The story of Alejandro is coming across as more of a cautionary tale for future air travelers.

That doesn’t mean Delta is off the hook, however.

H/T: Twitter, The Washington Post, CNN