Ariel Dale, who is also a singer and actor, first shared a TikTok video of herself crying at the John F Kennedy International airport saying the airline had “lost” her cats.
“No one can tell me where they are,” said the text on the video. “This is actually my worst nightmare. They’ve already been in the kennel for over 14 hours [because] their flight was cancelled,” said the caption of the video.
Several users offered sympathy and support in the comments section of Dale’s video, which racked up over three million views.
Ms Dale, however, was reunited with her cats after a long-winded chain of events, according to three other videos she shared, explaining the entire situation.
In the first video, she said she decided to put her cats on a cargo plane from LA to New York, something she said was a tough decision, but in the best interest of her cats, who she said developed anxiety around people.
Ms Dale said the airlines initially sent her the wrong drop off location for her cats because of which she almost missed her own flight.
“I made it to my flight with like two minutes to spare,” she said in the video.
As soon as Ms Dale’s flight was about to take off, she said she received a message from American Airlines that said the flight her cats were in was first delayed and then cancelled, after which they booked another flight.
In the second video, Ms Dale said the new flight carrying her cats was delayed as well. On talking to a customer service agent afterwards, she was assured that her cats are “being well taken care of”.
Once Ms Dale arrived at a pick-up location at one of the terminals, however, staff said they did not have any cats there, after which she started to cry.
In the third and final video, Ms Dale said she was finally reunited with her cats, adding that they were distressed upon arrival.
“This whole situation is just bad,” she said, pointing out that the “bare minimum” the airlines could have done was to give her an apology.
“While I understand mistakes happen, the bare minimum American could have done was apologise. I paid over $700 (£502) for the safe transportation of my cats and have not received an apology, explanation, or offer of compensation,” she said in a statement to Daily Dot.
She was instead told to file a complaint, for which she should expect a response within 15 days.
“Thankfully my cats are home safe now but we are all traumatised from the experience,” said Dale. “We are grateful for the love and support from people online.”
The Independent has contacted American Airlines for a comment.
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