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Woman claims Delta Airlines held her puppy ‘hostage,' demanded $3,000 for release

A woman in Minnesota claims Delta Airlines recently held her German shepherd puppy ‘hostage,’ refusing to release the dog for 33 hours. (2016 file photo/Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A woman in Minnesota claims Delta Airlines, one of the three largest airlines in the United States, recently held her German shepherd puppy ‘hostage,’ refusing to release the dog for 33 hours unless she agreed to pay $3,000 to Delta.

Mary Nguyen, a 25-year-old student, hired Pet Air Carrier, a private company separate from Delta Airlines, to arrange the transportation of her 62-pound dog Bunny from the United States to Guatemala, where Nguyen’s husband currently is located. Market Watch reported Nguyen paid $3,000 in fees and drove from Minnesota to Wisconsin as part of the arrangement.

Bunny arrived in Guatemala City on Wednesday night, but when Nguyen’s husband attempted to get the dog out of cargo, Delta Airlines refused to hand Bunny over. Nguyen told Market Watch Delta Airlines demanded an additional $3,000 in fees for Bunny’s release.

On Friday, a “tired and stressed” Nguyen explained that Delta Airlines said it was refusing to release the dog because the required paperwork for transporting the dog from one country to another had been accidently left in the United States.

"They have all the documents they need on their scratch pad to release her but refuse to do so without the hard copy that they lost [but tracked down]," she said Friday evening to Market Watch. "The document has been in their possession the whole [time] since I've surrendered my dog over."

Nguyen says Delta effectively created “a hostage situation.”

After 33 hours, Delta Airlines released Bunny to Nguyen’s husband in Guatemala on Friday evening. CBS News attempted to get a comment about the ordeal from Delta Airlines, but they didn’t “immediately respond” to the request.

It’s unclear whether Nguyen received compensation for the airline's alleged mismanagement of the situation.

Airlines in the United States have been under a great deal of scrutiny since a United Airlines passenger was dragged off an overbooked flight scheduled to go from Chicago to Louisville in April.

Trip Advisor, a popular travel website, announced in April Delta Airlines had been named travelers’ favorite “major airline” over the past year.

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