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Couple blames Air India after pet cat goes missing at Mumbai airport

Atisha Penjore and Sruti Menon were set to board a flight to Bengaluru when they were told that one of their two pet cats was missing

mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2018 12:52 IST
Neha Tripathi
Neha Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Air India,Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
The airline contacted the passengers after the incident to inform them about their missing cat and allegedly blamed the passengers for being careless. (HT File )

A woman and her partner, who were scheduled to fly to Bengaluru together with their two cats, had to alter their travel plan after Air India allegedly lost one of their pets on Monday. The cat, Eva, has not yet been found, four days on.

The airline allegedly reported that their pet was lost after Atisha Penjore and Sruti Menon had completed all the required procedures to board the AI 609 flight. While Menon flew to Bengaluru with one of the cats the same day, Penjore stayed back to try and find the cat, which is believed to have got lost inside the airport.

The airline contacted the passengers after the cat was lost and allegedly blamed them for being careless.

“We are trying to see if a team that specialises in finding lost animals can be brought in. We have also handed out flyers with details of Eva to people working at the airport . We have brought food,etc. Because she’s a domestic cat, she probably won’t eat anything else,” said Menon in a Facebook post that shared details about the incident. “We spent three nights in and around the airport talking to people and trying to reach someone who can actually be of some help,” added Menon, who is an animator.

Penjore, a video designer, was given permission on Wednesday and Thursday to search for the cat in the cargo hold area of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’s terminal 2. The duo said they hope to locate the cat soon.

“The cats were scanned using X-ray machines, after which we put them back in the crate and secured them with a locker that can only be opened by humans. We left the cats with the authorities around 7.10pm, after which we proceeded to our boarding area. At around 7.35pm we got a call from the airline informing about Eva.” Menon said. The flight was scheduled to take off at 8.15pm.

Air India is the only airline that allows pets, weighing up to five kg, as cabin luggage.

Sources said the airport operator had deployed four teams to locate Eva. An Air India spokesperson said: “We are looking into the matter and helping the passenger locate the pet. Nothing else can be revealed as the matter is under investigation.”

Devyani Jadhav, co-founder of PAWsome.in, a pet relocation agency, said, “There could be various possibilities that could have led to the missing of cat. It is important to have a small dedicated area for screening of pets as animals like cats have to be taken out of the crate while they are scanned for security purpose.”

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 11:39 IST