Family’s dog accidentally flown to Saudi Arabia instead of Nashville

A Tennessee family’s dog was accidentally sent to Saudi Arabia instead of Nashville. (Source: WSMV)
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 11:20 AM EST
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NASHVILLE (WSMV/Gray News) – A family moving to the United States from London said their dog was accidentally flown to Saudi Arabia instead of Tennessee.

The Miller family, who just moved to Nashville, was given the wrong dog when they arrived at Nashville International Airport.

Madison Miller rescued 5-year-old Bluebell – a lab mix – back in London and had fears of flying the dog to the United States for their big move.

“I had months of nerves putting her on this plane,” Miller said. “I’d heard so many horror stories.”

Miller said they flew British Airways and said goodbye to Bluebell on her way to cargo hold at London’s Heathrow Airport. It wasn’t until they landed at Nashville that they realized Bluebell didn’t make the trip.

“They said she wasn’t in Nashville, and they said their best guess was she was in Saudi Arabia,” Miller said.

An hour later, Miller said airport staff tracked Bluebell down – confirmed to be in Saudi Arabia – and sent a picture of Bluebell locked in her crate.

“After we knew she was in Saudi Arabia, it was just all hands on deck. How do we get her back?” Miller said.

After three days and many sleepless nights, Miller and her husband got the news they had been waiting for. Bluebell arrived in Nashville, but she wasn’t the same happy dog they knew.

“I anticipated kind of like the reunion you see on YouTube,” Miller said. “Like she comes out of the crate, she’s wagging and licking your face. It was the opposite.”

Bluebell had to take three flights over 63 hours to get home. She was apparently traumatized by the whole experience.

“She was so horrified, and that’s when we knew something was wrong,” Miller said.

Bluebell hasn’t been the same ever since, Miller said. She cries when left alone, and at one point, she chewed through a door.

Now, they want to know how the airport mix-up happened in the first place.

“They said this has never happened before, we don’t even understand how it could happen because there are so many safety checks in place,” Miller said.

British Airways forwarded a request for comment to the cargo company, IAG Cargo. A spokesperson released the following statement regarding the error:

“We are very sorry for the recent error that occurred during Bluebell’s trip to Nashville. We take the responsibility of caring for people’s loved animals seriously and are investigating how the redirection happened. Whilst Bluebell’s route was longer than it should have been, we ensured she was on the first flight back to Nashville from London Heathrow. During her time with us she received refreshments frequently and had time outside to stretch her legs – including regular walks and eight hours with the team at the Heathrow Animal Reception centre who cared for her. Despite these measures, we understand that this has been an upsetting situation for Bluebell and her owners and remain in contact with them to resolve the situation.”

The Millers said they hope to be compensated for the error.