Delta Offers Owner of Dead Kitten $50

by Libby Zay 
Posted Feb 16th 2011 10:00 AMUpdated Feb 16th 2011 10:51 AM


Delta dead kitten

Andrei Dimofte, Flickr

The owner of a kitten that died after being transported in the cargo hold on a Delta plane says the airline is only offering to refund her airfare plus $50.

The hairless kitten, named Snickers, froze after flying from Utah to Connecticut last month when a door latch malfunctioned in 10-degree weather. It took nearly an hour to unload the kitten.

Heather Lombardi says Delta initially told her she would get $2,900 for the cat and $290 for airfare, plus reimbursement for vet bills and a freezer where Snickers is being kept until the ground thaws for burial.

But on Tuesday, the airline changed its offer to airfare plus 50 cents per pound, although there is a $50 minimum payout.

Delta spokesman Anthony L. Black tells AP the offer is a standard cargo reimbursement and says talks are ongoing.

Filed Under: News

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Nikki Delp Boyd

It is obvious animals mean nothing to Delta airline , which me or my family or friends will ever travel.

April 13 2011 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robin S

I'm sure the owner has paperwork stating what the purchase price was, and should submit that proof to Delta. If they don't pay up, sue them for negligence. The shipping costs were probably as high as a ticket on the plane, and pets shipped don't get any of the vanishing perks of flying. You are charged to carry your cat on board, again sometimes higher than your own ticket, and you lose your right to a carry-on.

I flew Delta this year, without a pet, and the way I was treated, means that I will not willingly travel with them again. Delta SUCKS

If you ever need to ship live animals, use Continental, they care, and do a great job.

February 17 2011 at 7:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No animals should be put in the luggage area, no heat at all and think how terrified and alone they are there also. Drive to where you need to go if you have a large dog or leave him home in a safe place. Yes smalll dogs can be taken on a plane and that is fine, but still it is not good for them I am sure. It is stressfull with all the commotion and being crated or held in a sofe crate type think still is not pleasant and the vets say to dope them so as not to traumatize them so. It is a horrible thing and I hope people think more of their pets and do not subject them to being put amongst luggage and stuff and being terrified with all that is going on too. Sad story I am sure there have been others like this,just not brought out in the open for all to hear.

February 17 2011 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If Delta doesn't make this right, I say we boycott them.

February 17 2011 at 1:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I run a turtle and tortoise rescue and we used to ship rescues from terrible homes to our sanctuary from all over the US but never after October and before June. While my heart goes out to the owners, and I am a devout cat lover, anyone with half a brain knows that the animals and your luggage sit on the tarmac for hours and sometimes for several days if the weather is bad. I am talking snow and extreme heat - so i stopped shipping because while I never lost an animal I always worried from the time they left their destination to the time they arrived. If my cat cost that much or meant that much - and mine do - I would have bought it a seat. Or tranquilized it and put it under the seat in a carrier. There is fault on both sides.

February 16 2011 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am an animal lover and from reading the comments most of you are too. What bother's me is that some of you can be SO stupid, a pet what ever it may be is a memeber of some ones' family and are hurts very badly when a pet dies. At this time of my life I have 5 cats, but I grew up with just about the full gammit of pets, 6 kids have different likes (my poor parents). But when one of our pets died we cryed and grieved, they were our family.

February 16 2011 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The cat in question was a Sphynx and they are hairless. The people paid extra for counter to counter which means the cat is not suppose to be last to get unloaded or sit outside. The airline was clearly in the wrong in this and I hope the people sue them as 50.00 is a insult. I am sure they paid alot and perhaps the breeder would refund the money or arrange for another cat but why should the breeder then be out of money or the cat?
Shipping can be safe as long as idiots in the airlines are not in charge.

February 16 2011 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This airline is lucky they aren't dealing with me. How the idiotic jerks who made this decision came to think that a beloved pet is only worth $50 is beyond my understanding. I realize this was a young kitten but how much value can you place on love? From what I could tell with the article this was a pet of a grown woman. But what if this had belonged to a young child, say a 5 or 6 year old little girl? Then is that love still only worth $50? How many of you would think it fair and just compensation if you had to tell a child an airline had killed their pet? There is NO amount of money that could make that an easy task. So, just because this woman is not a child of 5 is it fair to ask her to accept $50 for the hearbreak and pain she feels? Just because most of us have additional birthdays we often and can easily love with that intensity of devotion of a small child. And for you jerks at Delta, yes, L - O - V- E!, DEEP love can exist between a human and an animal. I have a golden retriever who is almost 5 years old and there is NO amount of money in this universe that could take her place. II am a single woman who has never been able to have a child. Lucy IS my child to not only me but my ENTIRE extended family. If a airline ever lost or killed my Lucy I'm afraid WWIII would begin after I started it against the airline. What the customer relations people didn't realize when they made this decision is that the shockingly huge amount of BAD publicity the airline is receiving about this is they will end up losing a thousand times more in revenue and sales than if they would have just paid this woman a respectable amount. Now, it will probably be months or years before people start to forget about this horrendous incident and before they will trust Delta with their loved pets, or even their children for that matter. As I said earlier, NO amount of money can replace the attachment you feel for a pet. It can't take away that feeling of betrayal or broken promises or hurt feelings. But when you offer something like this stupid little bit of nothing, it's actually a figurative slap in the face and makes it feel 10 times worse. Most people can tell when a business or another individual truly feels regret or are upset at events that happen and will accept SINCERE apologies. But when people won't take responsibility for their irresponsible actions, then no amount of money can make that better. I don't like to see people lose their jobs in today's world right now but those responsible for this mess, both the original death of the pet AND the stupid decision about the compensation amount of $50 should somehow be disclipined in the company and RETRAINED.

February 16 2011 at 9:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

anyone who sends their pets in cargo during the winter is nuts and should be charged with animal cruelty. One time I was to go from San Diego to Wash. DC. I was told the cats might not arrive alive. Just for that sort of thing happening plus if there is a layover the cargo hold is generally open. My luggage flew, I drove, with two cats in a corvette. Did I mention it was New Year's Eve when I left.
I feel badly for the owner though. How traumatic and can you imagine the poor kitten freezing to death.

February 16 2011 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These people can barely be trusted to get your underware to your destination safely and you're going to give them a live pet? Let alone one you consider a family member. Would you leave your kid in a crate with a little bit of food and some water unattended for that long in uncertian weather conditions?

February 16 2011 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply