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LAN Lost My Dog (Long Story!)  
User currently offlineAA300B From Ecuador, joined Jul 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6335 times:

About a month ago my family and I travelled from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador with our dog, a 2 year old labrador retriever. We travelled with the dog because my mom was moving back to Ecuador after 3 years living in Florida. normally we would have travelled on AA, considering it is the only non-stop flight and my mom wanted the dog to be the less amount of time flying (LAN makes a stop in Quito), but since my step father was flying on LAN, we decided to fly them, and risk the stop over in UIO.

We were checked in on the Business Class counters since my step father was flying on J, and all our 10 bags got priority tags. That calmed my mom a little, since she was extremely nervous about the dog, and the stop over in Quito. The agent who checked us in was extremely friendly and assured us that the dog will arrive to Guayaquil (...)
When we got to our gate, J16 , and there was another LAN flight, 15 min apart from ours, heading to Punta Cana, sitting at gate J18 right next to our plane. We boarded the plane and heard a little kid say '' look dad there's a dog in that prison!'' We were so relieved by that comment, and wanted to actually see the dog being loaded into the plane but we were in the middle and couldn't see anything. We took off and I slept throughout the whole flight up until we were descending towards UIO. The plane touched down really hard, and my mom began to worry about the dog.

The plane parked at the gate and passengers flying to GYE were asked to reamain on board, my mom got up and went directly to a F/A and asked her to check the dog, since she was concerned about the hard landing. A couple of minutes later the F/A came and said '' I checked your dog , he is fine'' Again we were relieved. When we landed in GYE we ran to go see the dog, since the poor thing had been on a plane for 6 hours, we reached the baggage claim area and my mom went directly to the area were the bags get offloaded from the cart onto the belt. 10 minutes passed and my mom started to get real anxious and crossed the belt onto the ramp! I couldnt believe what I was seeing but I think she actually loves the dog more than she loves me lol. I could hear her asking where was the damn dog and the guy asked the man to go to the plane and bring the dog as fast as he can. 5 min later the guy came and said '' No ha llegado ningun perro'' (No dog has arrived) My mom started yelling and came back onto the belt area and started yelling and crying, everybody stared at us and I could hear them whisper ''Their dog didn't arrive''

My mom left my step father (with our 10 pieces of luggage) and started running towards the exit. I went running after her and my sister met with her at the exit, where my mom started to cry and yell even more. We went running to the LAN check in desks and my mom crying kept asking where was our dog. the lady rudly said '' I'm not helping you until you calm down'' I asked for the person in charge and she said I had to go to their offices on the second level. We thought the dog got offloaded from the plane in UIO, so my mom ran to TAME's ticket counter and bought two tickets to Quito for 62$ each. We ran to LAN's offices and had to wait until the person in charge of luggage finishes with the flights, while my mom cried as if her kid had just died, and started calling everybody. When the woman arrived my mom started yelling '' Where is my dog?!'' and the woman said she was going to call UIO so they can retrieve the dog. 10 minutes later the woman came back and said '' The dog is not in Quito, he's in Miami'' My mom went crazy and started demanding a ticket for LAN's flight to MIA which was to depart in 2 hours, and the lady said '' We can't do that because the dog is not our responsibility'' My mom went crazy and started yelling '' HOW IS HE NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY...!'' They kept arguing and my mom called my aunt in Miami so she can go get the dog , and threatened to sue the company for all they did.

We went downstairs where we met with my step father ( No idea how he made it with the 10 overweight bags) started explaining to him what happened with the dog. My step father talked with the lady in charge of luggage, when suddenly she gets a call and guess what.. THE DOG IS NOT IN MIAMI. At that moment I thought my mom was about to faint, and after 4 hours looking for the dog the lady came up to us and said '' We found the dog, he is now flying to SANTIAGO DE CHILE'' Whaaaaaat I could'nt believe what I heard! My mom gave me her credit card and told me ''Go but 2 tickets to Santiago NOW'' I ran to buy two tickets for the flight which was to leave to LIM and SCL in 2 hours. The fare was about $1,400 for both tickets and then the lady explained to us that what happened was that the dog instead of being loaded onto our plane at gate J16, he was loaded onto the plane on gate J18 which left for Punta Cana and Santiago de Chile! My mom stopped crying, relieved they found the dog and then my step father started telling us it was ridiculous to fly down to Santiago, and that the lady told him the dog would fly the day after on the SCL-LIM-GYE flight. I was bummed since I wanted to go down to SCL, but I had to admit it was ridiculous, so we canceled the tickets, and went home and wait until the day after to see our dog.

The flight from Punta Cana was to arrive to Santiago at 6:45pm, so at 6:30pm I called LAN's 1800 number and explained them my situation. They gave me the number to their luggage dept in Santiago and I inmediatley called them. I again explained the situation to the extremly friendly lady who was amazed at what had happened and told me to wait on the phone to check what had arrived on the flight from Punta Cana. After about 5 minutes she said '' It looks like a lost pet arrived on the flight'' I started crying of happiness and said ''Thats my dog!'' She asked me what the dog's name was and told me they were going to take care of him and put him on the flight to LIM and GYE the next morning, and that they would give the dog food and water. I could'nt stop thanking her, and she assured me they would take full care of my dog while he is in SCL. My mom called at night again the luggage dept in SCL and they told her that everybody in LAN was aware of the situation, and that they just talked with the woman who was with the dog and that the dog is very shy and calm, and that they were walking him around the airport. My mom too started crying of happiness and they told her they would take care of all the paperwork so that the dog can leave the morning after to GYE.

The next morning around 10am I called LAN in SCL and a man told me '' Yes that poor dog.. We already sent him to LIM, he should be landing right now, we took full care of him, he was never alone and all the women staff came around to see the dog and kept playing with him, you know how affectionate women can be, they all fell in love with the dog, he didnt eat but drinked a lot of water, and he should be landing in GYE at 12:40pm''. Again I couldn't stop thanking him and told my mom the news. half an hour later my step father gets a call from LAN and guess what.. LIM WAS SHUT DOWN DUE TO WEATHER!.. Here we go again.. I ran to the computer and saw that the flight to GYE did take off on time, but the LAN representative who called said the flight never took off from LIM?? We called Lima and they told us the flight did take off and it was to land in GYE 1 hour late. We went to the airport, to the LAN offices where a man gave my mom a card which allowed her to go inside the airport to the baggage claim area, where she demanded to be allowed in 20 min before the flight lands. We waited for my mom to come out and prayed for her to come back with the dog, and 40 min later I saw my mom walking with the dog, but she had left the kennel inside because she was desperate to take him outside. Apparently the kennel was neither wet nor dirty so that meant that after 18 HOURS OF FLYING TIME FOR THE DOG he never peed on the kennel. We immediately gave him water and he finished up 3 entire bottles, and couldn't stop waggling his tail, the poor thing thought we abandoned him.

Poor Whiskey (The main character in this story) travelled 18 hours in 2 days, was in 5 countries in 2 days, and instead of flying his planned itinerary ( MIA-UIO-GYE), he flew MIA-PUJ-SCL-LIM-GYE. The flight time from PUJ to SCL is around 8 hours, so he was alone on a dark compartment on the inside of a plane for about 18 hours.


I have to say LAN has always been my favorite airline, but their staff in GYE was rude and inefficient. The only thing that keeps them to be my favorite airline was their staff in SCL. All the time they were extremely helpful and took care of all the paperwork in order for the dog to leave Chile, and for that I'll always be loyal to LA. The SCL staff were the real heroes on this tragedy, and because of them the dog arrived safely to GYE. What I wanted to know was if we were entitled to something for everything that happened? We paid 250$ for the dog to travel, are we entitled to a refund?

Hope you were entertained by this 'tragic' story,

Cheers

AA300B

[Edited 2008-10-26 00:11:21]


F28, Md-88, DC-10, E-145, E-170, E-190, A310, A300, A319, A320, 721,722, 732, 73G, 738, 752, 753, 763, 777!
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOwlEye From Netherlands, joined Feb 2006, 957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6287 times:

A stressy story but with a happy end. You should claim a refund. A dog is no luggage.

User currently offlineFlyingchoirboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 281 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6248 times:
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What a great ending to a crazy story! You really should demand a refund. That mistake was not your fault. It was LAN's fault. They need to take the blame and refund your tickets for the inconvenience caused to you.

I'm sorry you had to go through so much drama and am glad you were reunited. Pet the dog for me  Smile

Scott



Flyingchoirboy: He sings, he flies, and sometimes he does both at the same time.
User currently offlineSyeaphanR From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6225 times:
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I too hope you can get something off LAN! Great that the dog's OK...That's the main thing!  Cool

User currently offlineJokestar From Australia, joined Apr 2008, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6189 times:

You definately deserve compensation for that. That is a truly amazing story and it's fantastic that it worked out so well!!! My dad was flying LAN quite a lot while he was working in South America earlier this year and only had good reports for them.

Thanks for sharing such a a fascinating story.


User currently offlineHowSwedeitis From Sweden, joined Jul 2007, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6153 times:
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Quoting AA300B (Thread starter):
Whiskey (The main character in this story) travelled 18 hours in 2 days, was in 5 countries in 2 days, and instead of flying his planned itinerary ( MIA-UIO-GYE), he flew MIA-PUJ-SCL-LIM-GYE.

Now that's one well-traveled dog!! Good to read that he didn't have to be left alone for all that time in his own filth, unfed and no water. Like the others have said, I would see if you could maybe get a refund, or some kind of a voucher for this ordeal.

-HSII



Heja Sverige!!
User currently offlineFlying Belgian From Belgium, joined Jun 2001, 2390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6150 times:
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I'm happy you got the dog.

What an emotion...



Life is great at 41.000 feet...
User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5985 times:

It's good that everything turned out OK, but this is the risk you will always take when travelling with an animal. Airlines and any company for that mattter are ALWAYS going to make mistakes, and one of the mistakes might unfortunately involve your pet. I would recomend that in the future your mother doesnt put her dog on another airplane, because this kind of thing could happen again . . . and you might not be so lucky next time !!!

User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1891 posts, RR: 27
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5856 times:

Pitty the dog didn't take his camera with him to provide us with a nice trip report! LOL

Anyhow, great story. I would be concerned with your mom, seems like she devotes that dog more than she does with you! haha just kidding.

You should get a refund or at least something back from LAN.

Saludos!



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offlineLevent From France, joined Sep 2004, 1718 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5787 times:

Did Whiskey get ferquent flyer miles or at least an upgrade for his next trip?

Anyway, glad that all turned out OK.


User currently offlineAzstar From United States of America, joined May 2005, 617 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5695 times:

You are absolutely entitled to a refund. It's not the first time that a pet has been misrouted. Every airline would, and should, reimburse the shipping cost for their negligence. Insist.

User currently offlineMSNfan From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5649 times:



Quoting AA300B (Thread starter):
When we got to our gate, J16 , and there was another LAN flight, 15 min apart from ours, heading to Punta Cana, sitting at gate J18 right next to our plane. We boarded the plane and heard a little kid say '' look dad there's a dog in that prison!'' We were so relieved by that comment, and wanted to actually see the dog being loaded into the plane but we were in the middle and couldn't see anything.

Based on the thread title, I immediately questioned which aircraft that little kid saw the dog get loaded into...what a story though! Sorry to hear about this ordeal, glad it all turned out O.K. in the end. I can't imagine how stressful it must have been with all of the changes of events.



Dentistry: Because everyone smiles in the same language!
User currently offlineAA300B From Ecuador, joined Jul 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5523 times:



Quoting OwlEye (Reply 1):
You should claim a refund. A dog is no luggage.

The incident happened about a month a go so I hope it's not too late for a refund, and one of the reasons my mom went so crazy was because they kept referring to the dog as luggage lol.

Quoting Flyingchoirboy (Reply 2):
You really should demand a refund. That mistake was not your fault. It was LAN's fault. They need to take the blame and refund your tickets for the inconvenience caused to you.

I'll try and do that but like I said the incident happened a month ago, but I'll still give it a shot.

Quoting 797 (Reply 8):
I would be concerned with your mom, seems like she devotes that dog more than she does with you! haha just kidding.

LOL that's what I always say to her.

Quoting MSNfan (Reply 11):
I immediately questioned which aircraft that little kid saw the dog get loaded into...

Just imagine if we would have been on a window seat and saw the dog being loaded onto the other plane... just imagine the mess inside the plane lol.

AA300B



F28, Md-88, DC-10, E-145, E-170, E-190, A310, A300, A319, A320, 721,722, 732, 73G, 738, 752, 753, 763, 777!
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7497 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5448 times:

Im kinda Jelous of your dog. Hes seen more of Latin America than I have!!!  Smile

You should definately be compensated. Pets are family and when you pay an airline to take them, you trust them with a member of the family. I dont have a dog, but I would whoop some a** if any airline lost my cat.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineBY188B From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5388 times:

A Happy ending! excellent news, i was worried that you were'nt going to get him back.  Silly


next flights : BD LHR-TXL J, FR SXF-STN Y, SN BRU-LHR Y, MA LHR-BUD Y, BA BUD-LHR J, BA LCY-SNN-JFK J, BA JFK-LHR J, BA
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5358 times:



Quoting AA300B (Thread starter):
We immediately gave him water and he finished up 3 entire bottles, and couldn't stop waggling his tail, the poor thing thought we abandoned him.

Awww, poor little thing! And he had no idea what was going on.

Thank goodness the crew in SCL were so compassionate.


User currently offlineContrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5334 times:

I don't see why the airline wouldn't refund you for the transport of the dog and all tickets involved. I can't believe that happened. If that happened to my dog I would be going nuts. I work for an airline where we don't transport animals, well tropical fish and lobsters but thats about it.

What are the procedures for dealing with dogs as for as grounds operations go? How are they handled?



Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offline44k From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5276 times:



Quoting AA300B (Thread starter):
have to say LAN has always been my favorite airline, but their staff in GYE was rude and inefficient.

Im sorry to hear this happened to you!

However, I have to come to the defence of the staff at GYE. Since they were not able to get the dog to you immediately, they were considered "inefficient". And, according to you, your mother went completely ballistic, yelling and crying at them. I beg your pardon, but how could they possible make the situation right in this case? Of course they will come over as rude! How would you handle such a irate situation in their place? The point is: there is nothing they could have done to make them seem nice and efficient in that situation. Its just the way it is, I see it all the time at my position!

Of course SCL staff was more empathic, the GYE staff would have been too, if not for the initial rant. It's just common sense!

Once again, I'm sorry this happened to you and it ended well. If anyone deserves to be ranted at, its the fleet service staff in MIA, for the missload. Once, again, I do not intend any offense with my post, I just always see the situation from airport-staff perspective, since thats my job! Also, I can only comment on the information, you provided.

Of course you are entitled to compensation, go for it!  Smile


User currently offlineAirJamaica From Jamaica, joined Aug 2006, 2512 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5259 times:



Quoting AA300B (Thread starter):

Man !! Amazing story !! Very happy that the dog arrived safe and sound after ' raking up those frequent flier miles !!" Very happy for "Whiskey" and the family.



greenheart
User currently offlineAA300B From Ecuador, joined Jul 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5254 times:



Quoting 44k (Reply 17):

I agree with you on your point that they couldn't do anything to get me my dog, but the way they handled the situation could have been much better than what they did. First of all they told us the dog was in Quito and that they would send it to us the day after, and 10 minutes after that, they told us they found the dog in Miami??? If they didn't know where the dog was they shouldn't just guess and tell us false information, which would have costed us $500 for the plane ticket to MIA to retrieve the dog, and that's why my opinion about how they handled the situation was inefficient.



F28, Md-88, DC-10, E-145, E-170, E-190, A310, A300, A319, A320, 721,722, 732, 73G, 738, 752, 753, 763, 777!
User currently offlineAirJamaica From Jamaica, joined Aug 2006, 2512 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5208 times:



Quoting 44k (Reply 17):

I understand what you are saying but the response by the agent in GYE came across as being extremely uncaring. That kind of response is not professional in my opinion. That individual could not have changed the situation but her response doesn't make the situation any easier to deal with either. A more appropriate approach would have been to attempt to calm the lady and then ascertaining what her problem is....not a rude " ' I'm not helping you until you calm down'' reply.



greenheart
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17051 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5202 times:

What a amazing story. But I am glad that it came to a happy ending


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineAA300B From Ecuador, joined Jul 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4822 times:



Quoting Contrails15 (Reply 16):
What are the procedures for dealing with dogs as for as grounds operations go? How are they handled?

From what the agent explained us when we were checking in, the dog is the last piece to get loaded onto the plane, and is taken in safely and secured tightly inside the plane, don't know if that's true or not.. if someone out there could explain us the process better it would be great.

AA300B



F28, Md-88, DC-10, E-145, E-170, E-190, A310, A300, A319, A320, 721,722, 732, 73G, 738, 752, 753, 763, 777!
User currently offlineIAirAllie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4815 times:



Quoting 44k (Reply 17):
The point is: there is nothing they could have done to make them seem nice and efficient in that situation.

There is a lot they could have done.
A) they could have refered to the dog by it's name (or even as your dog) instead of calling him luggage.
B) instead of being nasty to an obviously distressed traveler (ie the you need to calm down or I can't help you comment). The agent should have offered a glass of water some tissues and helped console her to the point where they could be productive.
C) they could have verified the accuracy of their information before passing it along to the passenger.
D) they could let the passenger watch their pet get loaded on each flight. (I've done it for pet owners before) It makes for a much less anxious passenger experience.
E) they could have not screwed up in the first place.
G) they could have appologized from the begining and assured the pax they would make this a priority.
H) They could have stopped to put themselves in that passengers shoes.
I) They could have offered some compensation.
It does sound like some of the employees did the right thing ie when they found the dog they gave status updates about his condition

As a dog owner I can completely relate to the OP's mothers distress. Our dogs are a part of our family.


User currently offlineGA330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 3 days ago) and read 4298 times:



Quoting AA300B (Reply 22):
Quoting Contrails15 (Reply 16):
What are the procedures for dealing with dogs as for as grounds operations go? How are they handled?

From what the agent explained us when we were checking in, the dog is the last piece to get loaded onto the plane, and is taken in safely and secured tightly inside the plane, don't know if that's true or not.. if someone out there could explain us the process better it would be great.

The procedures definately varies from airlines to airlines, but anyway this is how they do it at mine:

1. The dog is brought over to the counter by the passenger.
2. We check the docs and paperwork, and tag the cage as you would with a piece of luggage, and put in a note in the DCS system. (AVIH)
3. It goes through x-ray (the cage not the dog)
4. The agent in charge of bagroom will then come up and take it down by the elevators to the bagroom.
5. For a/c that has bulk space, then they put it back there with all the luggage that doesnt fit in a can. They will put the cage on top of all the bags so that it doesnt get crushed in the event of hard landing.
6. For a/c with no bulk, then you put it in the priority can and put it, again, on top of all the bags.
7. Remind PIC that AVIH is on board, make sure to turn on everything he needs to turn on.
8. Send telex messages to the other station that AVIH is coming in.

I think that is pretty much the procedures, simple yet will have disastrous consequences if not followed correctly.

That being said, I will say that you are very lucky to have the dog back healthy and alive. I would imagine that if in the first leg of the dog's flight, or for that matter any subsequent leg of the dog's flight that the dog were not even supposed to on, the PIC did not turn on the pressure and air conditioning, the live of your dog will be pretty much in peril.

Despite of all the mistake that LAN made, which is inexcusible in any way, I would give them credit for handling the dog safely even though it did not go to the right destination as initially intended.

I have a question though. Was the dog cage properly tagged MIA-UIO-GYE? if so, whoever loaded the dog to the wrong plane should really be under investigation. Handling a live animal is a serious matter that cannot be taken lightly.



China Eastern MU586 KLAX - SZPD with B-6055
25 AirJamaica : You couldn't have said it better.
26 Jtamu97 : Screw requesting a refund, I think Whiskey should be entitled to First/Business class for life!! I know for a fact my Dog would never travel coach cla
27 AA300B : The cage had written Guayaquil, Ecuador all over it, with huge capital letters, so I have no idea how they could have sent it to Punta Cana, and the
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