Airline: ATA Airlines
Incident Date: Sep 01, 2006
Report Date: November 2006
Incident Type: Loss
Brachycephalic: No Definition
Animal Age: Not reported
Flight Number: 4757
Originating Airport: LAX (Los Angeles Intl)
Destination Airport: HNL (Honolulu Intl)
Reporting Airport: HNL (Honolulu Intl)
1) Carrier and flight number: ATA Flight 4757, LAX-HNL
2) Date and Time of the incident: 01 September 2006
3) Description of the animal (including name if applicable): Grey tabby cat with white belly.
5) Narrative Description of the incident: Haka arrived in HNL as a Pet-In-Cabin. The Gate Agent received Haka from owner and proceeded down the ramp to deliver Haka to the Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) Ramp Lead. The Ramp Lead advised the Gate Agent to set the soft-sided kennel down, next to the belt loader, while he retrieved a golf cart to transport the kennel to quarantine. The Ramp Lead left the kennel unattended for few minutes. Upon return to the belt-loader, the ramp worker lifted the kennel and did not see the cat. The ramp worker called the ATA agent to verify if there was a cat in the kennel. Agent confirmed same. The Ramp Lead informed the Worldwide Flight Services Supervisor immediately. The WFS Supervisor noticed the top of the soft-sided Dan-carry (kennel), which is attached by Velcro, was open. We assume the cat pawed his way out through the Velcro opening and escaped.
6) Narrative Description of the cause of the incident: The Pet-In-Cabin should not have been unattended at any time. The gate agent should have kept the pet carrier in the jet-bridge until the ramp worker retrieved it for transport to quarantine. In an event that the pet then escaped, it would have been easier to capture in a confined area. Because the pet was taken to the ramp and left unattended, it was probably frightened by all the activities and loud engines and therefore escaped the vicinity. ATA holds WFS entirely responsible for this series of events.
7) Narrative Description of any corrective action taken in response to the incident: WFS initially assisted by escorting Ms. Souza on the ramp to locate her lost cat. The cat is still missing. WFS posted flyers regarding lost cat around the HNL International Airport. WFS has reiterated with their staff the proper procedures to handle pets being taken to quarantine, which were not followed in this case. ATA Airlines is tendering financial responsibility and liability entirely to Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in this matter.