A United Airlines passenger jet made an unscheduled landing to save the lives of two Spokane-bound pets who were mistakenly shipped in an unheated cargo compartment.
The emergency landing at Madison, Wis., delayed the Chicago-to-Spokane flight by about two hours, but the animals - golden retriever Sunny Day and Daisy, a cat - arrived here safely.Pet owners Randy and Jill Moore and their two children were thrilled.
"The crew did an outstanding professional job," said Moore, a corporate pilot who is moving his family from Albany, N.Y., to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Minutes after Flight 1981 took off from O'Hare International Airport on Thursday, "the dispatcher called us and said two animals had been incorrectly loaded," Capt. Mark Sebby said.
Temperatures at 30,000 feet can reach 55 degrees below zero.
Sebby said he dumped 16,000 pounds of fuel so he could safely land at Madison about an hour after leaving Chicago.
The animals were taken off the plane, warmed up and put in the heated portion of the cargo hold.