KLM is set to become the world's first airline to be sued for a flight delay by a dog. Dog Tony and his Israeli owner are claiming €800 (£723) in compensation after their flight from from Tel Aviv to Amsterdam was delayed by more than 6 hours.
The Israeli woman is claiming €400 (£361) for herself and has demanded that her dog receives the same compensation for the discomfort he suffered as he waited "for hours in the boiling heat."
"We are asking KLM for compensation for Tony and his owner," said Victor Loonstein, director of Dutch debt collecting agency Claim4U, who is handling the case. "They both experienced discomfort due to the long delay," he said. "Tony spent hours waiting in his cage in the boiling heat and was clearly suffering."
Loonstein said that Tony almost only died from sun exposure and that ground staff only moved him into the shade after his owner urgently spoke to them. He said the dog suffered more than any passenger on the flight.
Tony is eligible for compensation under EU law, according to Loonstein. He had his own plane ticket as he was travelling in the hold and therefore his rights fall under the same legislation as other passengers'.
Loonstein added that they might take the case to court if KLM does not compensate the woman and her dog. KLM said it would not comment on the case until it was officially lodged. "We take every case seriously, even this one," a spokesman for the airline said.