- TikToker Ariel Dale said American Airlines “lost track” of her cats on a cargo flight from LA to NYC.
- Dale said staff couldn’t locate the cats upon landing at JFK Airport in New York City.
- American Airlines told Insider in a statement that Dale has since been reunited with her cats.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A woman said that American Airlines “lost track” of her two cats during a cross-country flight from Los Angeles to New York City.
TikTok user Ariel Dale, a voice actress and singer with 56,000 followers, first spoke about her experience in a video posted Sunday that has more than 3.8 million views at the time of writing. She captioned the video: “This is actually my worst nightmare. They’ve already been in the kennel for over 14 hours bcuz their flight was canceled.”
Dale, who was moving from Los Angeles to New York City for graduate school and wanted to bring her two cats, Stevie Nicks and Mr. Tumnus, told Insider that American Airlines was the only airline she found offering non-stop flights for her cats. She said in a TikTok video that her cats, who are rescued, get anxious around other people, which is why she chose not to bring them on a commercial flight with other passengers.
Speaking with Insider, Dale added that she considered driving the distance, but said she thought it would be “too stressful to make them sit in a car for 12 hours a day and then be introduced to a new Airbnb every night.”
Dale followed up to her initial TikTok post with a series of three videos explaining the scenario.
Dale said in one video that when she arrived at the airport in Los Angeles to fly to New York City, American Airlines gave her the wrong drop-off location for cats, which she said caused her to almost miss her flight. Once she boarded her flight, she received a text that her cats’ flight was delayed, canceled, and they were eventually booked for another flight. The rescheduled flight was delayed as well.
After she landed in New York City, Dale said in a video that she got in contact with an American Airlines spokesperson who assured her that both cats were “being well taken care of.”
Dale continued in another TikTok video that when she arrived at Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy Airport and asked to pick up her cats, she said the staffer didn’t know what she was talking about.
“When the American Airlines worker told me they didn’t have my cats and didn’t know where they were, I panicked, and my heart dropped to my stomach. I immediately fell to the floor and started crying,” Dale told Insider.
Dale told Insider staffer spent two hours trying to locate the cats, and another hour passed before she was reunited with her two pets. Speaking with Insider on Wednesday, Dale said that American Airlines has not contacted her nor offered an apology or explanation for the incident.
A spokesperson for American Airlines told Insider in a statement: “Caring for our animal travelers and ensuring they have a smooth and safe travel experience is always a top priority for us. We never like when travel plans are disrupted and are sorry for any inconvenience. Our team was in regular contact with Ariel throughout her pets’ journey and she has been reunited with her furry companions since then.”