Heather Lombardi expected more than $3,000 in compensation for Snickers, a kitten that died soon after a Delta flight from Utah to Connecticut. Instead, she’s been offered plane fare, plus $50.
Lombardi paid nearly $300 to fly her 11-week-old, 3-pound hairless kitten in climate-controlled air cargo in January, but something went wrong. A door latch malfunctioned in 10-degree weather. It took almost an hour for crews to take the kitten off the plane and Snickers was icy cold and couldn't move her head or paws when she was finally removed, Lombardi said. The kitten died a short time later.
Lombardi's $289.94 cargo ticket on Delta Air Lines included $70 to make sure Snickers was taken off the plane quickly. But Lombardi said it took 50 minutes to get the cat off the plane.
At the time, Delta spokeswoman Susan C. Elliott said she couldn't talk about specifics because the cat's death was under investigation, but the airline was discussing how it could provide some kind of restitution.
Lombardi said Delta Air Lines initially told her she would get $2,900 for the cat and $290 for airfare, plus reimbursement for vet bills and even a freezer where she's keeping Snickers until the ground thaws.
But, Lombardi said on Tuesday, Delta changed its offer to airfare plus 50 cents a pound, although there's a $50 minimum.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the offer is a standard cargo reimbursement and talks are ongoing.