Cat Alert

by Heather Keroes


Have you viewed American Airlines’ Wall on Facebook lately?  Between weather alerts and Hurricane Irene updates you’ll find some very important posts about a cat … Jack the Cat.

Jack the Cat was traveling last week with his owner, Karen, and one other cat, Barry, from New York to California.  Before Karen was able to board the plane, however, she received a call no pet owner wants to receive – her cat Jack was somehow missing from the checked kennel (which had already cleared security).

According to Karen, she was assured by an American Airlines employee that she would receive a call if her cat was found and she was also asked to contact the airlines’ Central Baggage Service.  Three days later, and after leaving a number of messages, Karen had yet to hear from anyone.  And so, she did what many a distressed consumer will do – she set up a Facebook page to ask the Facebook community to put pressure on American Airlines and the JFK airport.  And that they have – her Facebook page is 10,000+ fans strong and its members have been quite vocal with American Airlines.  And the airline has certainly taken notice, posting not only on Jack the Cat’s Facebook page, but also adding updates about their search for Jack to their own Facebook page.

In a very poignant post on earlier this week, blogger Mark Rose makes an odd, but true, point – “No matter what atrocities are happening in the world – mass murder, genocide, disease, famine – a sad pet story will bring people to their knees.”

If American Airlines’ consumer service responded quicker to Karen, they may have been able to avoid this issue that has gained national attention.  However, their reaction to and management of the situation on Facebook has been strong.  Will Jack the Cat be found?  No one knows.  But now everyone on Facebook knows that Karen will be personally escorted through JFK this weekend to try to find him.

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