Flights were delayed for up to 20 minutes yesterday after a puppy being placed on an aircraft escaped from her cage and went for a stroll on the tarmac.
As the New York Daily News put it, it was a "ruff day" yesterday at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Shortly after 10 a.m., a 30 pound Rhodesian ridgeback puppy named "Byrdie" was being loaded onto a Delta Airlines plane bound for Memphis. The dog got loose from her cage and ran onto a runway of the busy New York airport.
All takeoffs were halted and incoming flights were ordered into holding patterns until the runaway pooch could be captured. Airport workers tried in vain to coax the frightened dog to come to them; one even got down on his hands and knees in an attempt to make nice to Byrdie, but all attempts proved unsuccessful.
Port Authority personnel then boarded Delta Flight 1573 and asked Austin Varner, the dog's owner, to step outside. Varner was quoted in The Memphis Commercial Appeal as saying, They took me physically outside the plane and said "Ma'am, your dog got loose and we're trying to catch her." The staff at LaGuardia and Delta were great. They kind of had detained her; they took me out there and she came right to me.
Byrdie was then put back into her cage that was secured by about 20 zip ties. The plane then took off and Byrdie, Varner, and the other passengers flew to Memphis without incident.
From the accompanying video, it can be seen that not all travellers saw the humour in what happened. One woman blamed the dog's owner while another only spoke about the frustration of being on a plane sitting on a runway.
According to Varner, Byrdie has flown four times during the past year and there had never been a problem before.
And how did Byrdie make out after her ordeal? Varner was quoted in the New York Post as saying, It doesn't seem like she was fazed at all.