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United Airlines accidentally ships dog to Japan after flight mix-up

Nick Reilly
Irgo was accidentally sent to Japan (Kara Swindle)

An investigation has been launched after a mix-up resulted in a family dog being sent on a flight to Japan by mistake.

Kara Swindle was moving from Oregon to Kansas with her family on a United Airlines flight last Tuesday, with their pet German shepherd Irgo scheduled to fly on a separate flight.

But upon arrival in Kansas, Swindle was stunned when she went to collect her dog from the cargo facility, and instead discovered a Great Dane waiting in his place.

It eventually transpired that Irgo had become the unwitting victim of a mix-up with the other dog, who was scheduled to fly to Japan.

Irgo will be flown back to America on a private flight later today.

‘They had no idea where the dog was,” Swindle said. “


‘I burst into tears instantly because this has just all been a whirlwind. They didn’t know (where Irgo was) until 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday when the plane landed in Japan.’

The latest embarrassment for United Airlines comes only days after a French bulldog died on a Houston-to-New York flight when a United flight attendant told its owners to put the dog in an overhead bin.

Describing the mix-up, a United Spokesperson said: ‘An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations.

‘We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologise for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened.’