A cat has crept into a suitcase. TSA thwarted his travel plans.
The stowaway was discovered when an alarm went off at JFK’s checked baggage check point on November 16, according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein. The clients looked at the X-ray and saw a clear outline of the animal.
“The TSA officer opened the bag and was shocked to see a live orange cat inside,” Farbstein wrote in an email.
We let the cat out of the bag upon spotting a whistling. This CATch had our baggage check officers @employee Saying, “Come on meow!” Mauer like you have travel questions link to our Furiends @employee. They’re available every day, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET). pic.twitter.com/LpIkLbAgzC
– TSA (TSA) November 22, 2022
Farbstein said TSA agents contacted Delta, the passenger airline, which then recalled the Orlando-bound passenger. The passenger said the cat was not his, but that it belonged to someone else in his house.
The cat returned home safely, but as a result of the cat fiasco, the passenger missed his flight. He was able to rebook the next day, “without the cat!” Farbstein added.
Everything you need to know about flying with pets, from people who do it often
On Tuesday, Colourstone chirp Photo from the incident, showing a slightly unzipped black bag, with orange fur clearly visible on the inside.
a TSA The officer was shocked to find an orange cat inside a bag taped to the @employee After he passed through the x-ray unit. The traveler said that the cat belonged to someone else in his house. On the bright side, the cat got out of the bag and returned home safely. pic.twitter.com/5XZVJLaZNm
— Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA_Northeast) November 22, 2022
It wasn’t the first time in recent years that a pet had nearly found its way onto a flight, unknown to its owners. In October 2021, Christie and Jared Owens were checking their luggage at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Texas when a Southwest Airlines ticket agent informed them that the bag was overweight.
When the couple opened the bag to repack it and avoid a fee, they were shocked to discover Ike, a 5-pound chihuahua, tucked into one of Jared’s cowboy boots.
The couple finds that their luggage is overweight due to the sneaky dog
“It was surreal,” Christie told The Washington Post at the time. “Do we really see our dog in our bag now? Is that happening?”
With the help of Southwest employees, the Owens called a relative to pick up Ike and they rushed to make their trip to Las Vegas.
Both Ikki and the Orlando-bound cat are lucky they were found before they were put on a plane with the rest of the checked baggage, which could prove fatal. According to Air Canada, baggage allowances on passenger flights are pressurized, but they can get down to freezing temperatures.
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On Delta, small dogs, cats, and domestic birds can travel in a carrier in the cabin, but for larger pets that need to travel in storage, special arrangements must be made through Delta Cargo.
At the security checkpoint, pets must be removed from their carriers and passed through the screening machine, according to the Transportation Security Administration’s guidance page, “Taking a Human on an Airplane: What Every Pet Needs to Know.”
“Don’t put me in an X-ray tunnel. Seriously, this isn’t fun for me,” the agency says. “Take me outside, put the empty travel carrier on the harness, and leave the x-rays for the vet.”
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