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Old August 27th, 2004, 07:19 AM
Etienne Etienne is offline
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El Al Did it again...

26 august 2004:

During a second check (allthough the carrier was already checked by Elal personel) again a cat escaped and disapeared through check in desk 85 in
endless depths of Ben-Gurion (Tel-Aviv) Airport.

It all started when nine year old Daniel Shalom that for the first time went to fly by himself, from Tel Aviv (Israel) to family in Brussels (Belgium).

To coop with the fact that he would have to live in a new courty while his parents still had to sell their Israeli home, the family decided that they would send the child's cat together with him.

After nine year old Daniel had his bags and the cats cage checked(while his dad held the cat) everything was found okay, and the child went with the ground stewardess that would deliver him to the plane.

For some reason passport-security wanted to do another check (despite of the yellow label that the cage was allready checked) of the cage and asked the child to hold the 7 kilo cat.

The cat escaped from the nine year old Daniel to go from the check point down the stairs, and then 500 meter further disapeared between the belts where the suitcases are taken away.

Nine year old Daniel's parents recieved the call that the cat had escaped about an half and hour later, and they decided to go back to the airport to search for the cat themselves, they was not able to talk to the kid , they just were told that the kid was crying when they took him to the plane.

Daniels parents spended two hours waiting and talking until somebody told them what had happened, and then after another hour and much pressure they were told that they could go and search for the cat themselves behind the checkin desks and in the deep anals of Ben-Gurion Airport.

Until now the cat has not been found, but the 50$ for sending the cat has been refunded (!@$ no words for this, sorry we lost your cat, but here is your 50 bucks)

Nine year old Daniels hart is broken, and it's difficult to tell your kid that it was NOT his fault over a telephone line 3000 miles away!!

4 Year old family cat Basti is still lost, and nobody want's to do anything, security one is blaming number two, two is blaming number one.

Daniels family will be driving to Tel Aviv airport to put up posters and to reward 100$ for the one that will find Basti.

(Sorry for cross posting this item)
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Old August 27th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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I wrote a reply in"Lost airport cat"..
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Old August 30th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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Iggette Iggette is offline
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Such a shame and so little reguard for animals these people need to be better trained and if this happens the cage should be checked in a closed room not out in the open with a 9 year old holding the cat are they new? this angers me@#%E#%^#%
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Old September 8th, 2004, 02:40 AM
Etienne Etienne is offline
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Basti is back !!!!!

YEEEHOOOO BASTI IS BACK.

Sorry for not posting any replies yet, but it is because we have been daily harressing EL-AL and Ben Gurion Airport with Phone calls, Visits, Faxes and Emails etc. etc.

We even had a article to be published in the national newspaper here, and we have the feeling that after the editor started verifying our information with El-Al they got scared, anyway they granted us to search in the whole airport, no matter what the security was, for this we thank a senior official (Irit Levi) of Ben Gurion Airport.

Anyway on 7 september 2004 at 11:00 we had the appointment with her, and she cleared all security for us and arranged for our own security official to assist us with all.

They asked us if we wanted to start searching where she had left the cage, but I thought it would make more sense to start where they had seen her last, which was under the suitcase transport system.

With the help of the security guy the transport system was shut off while we climbed on the belt and crawled through the hole where the suitcases go.

I had packed the cat carrier with two flashlights and some food and the flyers before we left from home, because I allready knew that I would need them down there, sadly they didn't allow us to take the carrier inside, but the flashlights were okay.

The back of the check-in desks is a real maze of spaces from a couple of centimeters high untill a meter high, and there are like a zillion places where a cat can hide.

Also the fundation of the building is open in some places, and that left another space of a meter by a meter open for her to hide in.

We went searching through these places, looking in and under everyplace shouting her name, this way we went from the last checking desk (#85) toward the first, crawling up and under and into any space we could find and fit.

By the time that we was close to the desks 30 I allready started to fear that it was for nothing, and allready was thinking how to ask for another search action in the next couple of days when all of a sudden my wife (Maria) heard a faint sound of meow, coming from the airco ventilator shaft.

We started shouting out for Basti and the meowing got louder and louder, we shined our lights through the pallet that used to cover the hole, and there between a half meter of dust, old boxes, packing labels, etc etc was sitting Basti.

She was verry scared and very dirty, and was trying to hide from us, I decided to lift that pallet and to go in the space to get her, but the security guy told us that there was written that thre we're open cables there, that could be a hazard.

I decided that now that I found her, I wouldn't let her go anymore, and she was not going to come out by herself, so I went in and was trying to stand on the boxes as much as possible.

When I removed that last box covering Basti, she tried to make a run for it, past me, but I managed to grap her by then neck, and quickly sat down, and covered her back so that she could not turn on me or scratch me.

Boy she was so scared, she trembled all over, and was trying to get away from me, but I had her firm.

I asked the security guy to get the cage, that I had seen standing 10 meters back from us (very strange that there was a empty old Atlas cage standing there complete?) and I asked my Maria to put the front gate in and to situate it next to me above the hole, then with one quick smooth motion I got up holding Basti by neck and back, and I got her in the cage.

After that we went back and crawled back through the luggage transport belt, I felt like Spartacus after a victory and the story went like a fire through the airport, we got our cat Basti, WE GOT HER, and we did it in a half hour.

It was a needle in a haystack, but we DID IT.

Basti is back, dirty like h*ll, but right now I don't want to put her through another trauma of putting her in the bath.

And as some of you have read on our website (http://www.sammies-world.com) 29 september we have to fly with 2 cats and 6 dogs, anyway we now get special treatment on Ben-Gurion Airport.

Oh and one last word, no thanks to El-Al they did in this NOTHING, they kept telling (like with Laurie) that it was the problem of the Airport now.

Thank you all for your kind words and support.

BASTI IS BACK
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Old September 8th, 2004, 07:28 AM
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shihtzulover shihtzulover is offline
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Thats great news, That really made my day.
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Old September 8th, 2004, 08:20 AM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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Etienne,thankyou,thank you for not giving up on Basti,you are wonderful...more people like you and the world would be a great place
You absolutely made a gray,kind of bleak day look sooo much better,I am very happy for Basti and her owners.
Maybe now,when they realize how important our animals are to us,El-Al will take more care and treat them with the respect they deserve,not like another piece of luggage.
Also good luck to you and your animals on the 29th of september,it would be great if you could let us know how it goes. Anita
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