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DIRECTFLT
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Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 7:01 am

ATLANTA, Ga. (WKRC) - Millions of bees died after a shipping mistake by Delta Air Lines.

https://local12.com/news/nation-world/d ... nnati-ohio

https://www.alaskapublic.org/2022/04/27 ... a-airport/

About 5 million honeybees were headed to Alaska from Sacramento, CA, but were rerouted through Atlanta by Delta, where they were left in crates for hours and died from the heat.

Alaska beekeeper Sarah McElrea ordered the bee shipment to pollinate apple orchards and nurseries from a distributor in California because they are not native to her area.

Catherine Salm with Delta Airline’s corporate communications said in an email Tuesday the airline is aware of the incident and is working to make sure something similar does not happen again.
 
Strato2
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 7:23 am

Terrible news. Bees keep us all alive through pollinating and losing millions is awful.
 
Chaostheory
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 9:15 am

Drop in the ocean compared to what is lost through colony collapse etc
 
910A
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 2:08 pm

Why is someone bringing a non-native species to an area?
 
airbazar
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 2:12 pm

910A wrote:
Why is someone bringing a non-native species to an area?

Maybe you should not be allowed to leave your country either :) Not all non-native species are bad.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 2:27 pm

airbazar wrote:
910A wrote:
Why is someone bringing a non-native species to an area?

Maybe you should not be allowed to leave your country either :) Not all non-native species are bad.

No, but most are: a lot of non-native species have no natural predators, ensuring an explosion of their population and they, in turn, turn into predators for native species.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 2:45 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
airbazar wrote:
910A wrote:
Why is someone bringing a non-native species to an area?

Maybe you should not be allowed to leave your country either :) Not all non-native species are bad.

No, but most are: a lot of non-native species have no natural predators, ensuring an explosion of their population and they, in turn, turn into predators for native species.


Exactly. Introducing non-native species of flora and fauna always disturbs the ecosystem and have severe consequences for the native species.
 
MKIAZ
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 2:49 pm

910A wrote:
Why is someone bringing a non-native species to an area?


To pollinate. Bees are moved around *alot*. In the lower 48 it is often done by truck. Also keep in mind, she's in Alaska. She was probably only renting the bees for the pollination season. Whoever owned them, likely has insurance for this type of loss.

Still sucks every time bees die :(
 
32andBelow
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 3:35 pm

MKIAZ wrote:
910A wrote:
Why is someone bringing a non-native species to an area?


To pollinate. Bees are moved around *alot*. In the lower 48 it is often done by truck. Also keep in mind, she's in Alaska. She was probably only renting the bees for the pollination season. Whoever owned them, likely has insurance for this type of loss.

Still sucks every time bees die :(

I think it was for people making at home honey or something. The local articles said that she was buying the bees to distribute to many different people
 
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diverdave
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 3:58 pm

Strato2 wrote:
Terrible news. Bees keep us all alive through pollinating and losing millions is awful.


Here's a fun fact for you then. Most beekeepers in Alaska kill their colonies at the end of the summer. It's too hard to keep them alive during the winter, so they simply order new bees every spring. Like this order

Cheers,
David
 
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GE90man
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 5:00 pm

Unfortunate. My dad works in the logistics industry and things like this happen every week, be it live lobsters, fish, bees... and there's usually nothing you can do.
 
vaughanparry
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 5:23 pm

Should've flown Flybe...
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 5:33 pm

MKIAZ wrote:
Still sucks every time bees die :(



Indeed. It is a real buzz-kill.
 
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thewizbizman
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 5:34 pm

vaughanparry wrote:
Should've flown Flybe...


Haha

In all seriousness, poor handling on Delta's part. Then again, inherent risks exist with air cargo transportation, as with all other forms of cargo transportation. Losses are bound to happen, although it does look like this one was avoidable.
 
travaz
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 6:28 pm

Should have used AS. Why were they routed thru ATL?
 
AC4500
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 6:50 pm

travaz wrote:
Should have used AS. Why were they routed thru ATL?

My guess is that the cargo ULD containers couldn't fit on the Embraer E175 planes used on SMF-SEA, so they had to use a larger plane (737..?), thus, re-routed through ATL. So in other words, very poor planning by Delta.
DL should have just swapped the aircraft for the SMF-SEA flight to a 737, although the OO crew obviously can't be used for mainline flights, so DL would have had to find reserve/standby crew for that flight. DL didn't want all of that hassle, so they just re-routed the shipment instead.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/28/us/h ... laska.html

Image
Last edited by AC4500 on Mon May 02, 2022 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Sean-SAN-
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 6:59 pm

AC4500 wrote:
travaz wrote:
Should have used AS. Why were they routed thru ATL?

My guess is that the cargo ULD containers couldn't fit on the Embraer E175 planes used on SMF-SEA, so they had to use a larger plane (737..?), thus, re-routed through ATL. So in other words, very poor planning by Delta.
DL should have just swapped the aircraft for the SMF-SEA flight to a 737, although the OO crew obviously can't be used for mainline flights, so DL would have had to find reserve/standby crew for that flight. DL didn't want all of that hassle, so they just re-routed the shipment instead.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/28/us/h ... laska.html

Image



Delta shouldn't have accepted the order. This is also an error with the logistics company they used, this could have been better handled by UPS or Fedex.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 7:00 pm

travaz wrote:
Should have used AS. Why were they routed thru ATL?


IIRC, AS will not accept bees for shipment, at least I've seen that posted other places while discussing this event.
 
777Mech
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 7:27 pm

AC4500 wrote:
travaz wrote:
Should have used AS. Why were they routed thru ATL?

My guess is that the cargo ULD containers couldn't fit on the Embraer E175 planes used on SMF-SEA, so they had to use a larger plane (737..?), thus, re-routed through ATL. So in other words, very poor planning by Delta.
DL should have just swapped the aircraft for the SMF-SEA flight to a 737, although the OO crew obviously can't be used for mainline flights, so DL would have had to find reserve/standby crew for that flight. DL didn't want all of that hassle, so they just re-routed the shipment instead.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/28/us/h ... laska.html

Image


DQLs won't fit in a 737 either, and there are zero DL widebody flights out of SMF, so I assume these were trucked to SFO and went to ATL. Pretty dumb decision to fly them over 10 hours instead of just bulk loading.
 
basspaul
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Mon May 02, 2022 11:32 pm

To all the logistics people and airline cargo dispatchers out there:

Shouldn't have this cargo be labeled highly perishable to reduce the risk of a situation like this?

Sounds like a communications error to me. If Delta was not made aware of the nature of the cargo, they shouldn't be blamed too hard.
 
Atlwarrior
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 12:30 am

Well, that's what insurance is used for. I'm sure they will be compensated well.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 12:44 am

I think everyone is missing a part of the story.

The bees were in the fridge like they were supposed to be but some may have gotten out so delta moved them outside and the heat killed them.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 2:15 am

32andBelow wrote:
I think everyone is missing a part of the story.

The bees were in the fridge like they were supposed to be but some may have gotten out so delta moved them outside and the heat killed them.


And there is a question if bees actually got out, or if the pheromones of the shipped bees just attracted local bees and made it look like they got out. It really seems like Delta needed to call in a bit more expertise when handling these bees.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 4:43 am

USAirKid wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
I think everyone is missing a part of the story.

The bees were in the fridge like they were supposed to be but some may have gotten out so delta moved them outside and the heat killed them.


And there is a question if bees actually got out, or if the pheromones of the shipped bees just attracted local bees and made it look like they got out. It really seems like Delta needed to call in a bit more expertise when handling these bees.

And the receiver in Alaska was trying to help but they wouldn’t listen. Allegedly
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 9:09 am

basspaul wrote:
To all the logistics people and airline cargo dispatchers out there:

Shouldn't have this cargo be labeled highly perishable to reduce the risk of a situation like this?

Sounds like a communications error to me. If Delta was not made aware of the nature of the cargo, they shouldn't be blamed too hard.

Maybe it is different for a shipment this large, but at 5X bees traveled just like any other cargo. Drivers and loaders were just a little more careful..
 
kiowa
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 12:35 pm

Atlwarrior wrote:
Well, that's what insurance is used for. I'm sure they will be compensated well.


I order bees every year and they are never insured. Bees have also gotten rather expensive in the last few years.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 2:23 pm

One really can't expect any carrier to be expert in the handling of live (whatevers) -- except humans! DL does need to recognize the fragility of certain cargo (just as it has high temp embargos for pets) and specify a routing that can be acceptable to the customer while meeting ops constraints (aircraft type, packaging requirements, forecasted temps).
 
Q
Posts: 1125
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 10:29 am

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 3:30 pm

We lost about 5 tons a year of honey if bees were still alive. Dang!

Q
 
Q
Posts: 1125
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 10:29 am

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 3:35 pm

Why can't a person who handles Bees shipping involve in the flight as a passenger with the cargo same time flight to ensure that handled properly? If a person sees not handle it properly he or she would call the supervisor cargo service CAN'T to do that leave tarmac or mishandle cargo properly supervisor would have to do something fast possible handle it right away. Why not?

Q
 
B777LRF
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Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 4:21 pm

[*]
MIflyer12 wrote:
One really can't expect any carrier to be expert in the handling of live (whatevers) -- except humans! DL does need to recognize the fragility of certain cargo (just as it has high temp embargos for pets) and specify a routing that can be acceptable to the customer while meeting ops constraints (aircraft type, packaging requirements, forecasted temps).


One very much can, and should, expect a carrier accepting live animals (AVI) to be an expert on the subject. Down to every little minute detail, including being able to quote the IATA LAR ad verbatim. Handling special cargo, including AVI, is often much more difficult and demanding than handling humans. Only difference is when the humans get upset they scream at the front line staff, whereas it will be back office staff getting a bolloxing if something goes awry with a cargo shipment. Humans, generally speaking, don’t tend to die if you delay or reroute them, but AVI may very well do so. Neither does SLF suffer from being forgotten in a corner of a warehouse; most talking bipeds are quite capable of propelling themselves along to the nearest person in uniform who’ll listen to their moaning.

DL is absolutely rock bottom when it comes to cargo handling. I’d never ship anything, let alone something live or of value, with that company. They quite simply suck at freight, and always have.
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 4:24 pm

How crazy the bee farmer is?
Why not transit via east coast city or simply fly directly from SFO
 
bchandl
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:49 pm

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 4:45 pm

bchandl wrote:
bchandl wrote:
bchandl wrote:


While I agree with this sentiment, it's misguided in this specific application. These bees cannot survive the Alaskan winter and as such they're being rented for a short time in the growing season for Alaska and then would head back to California (or on to another farm location). Or it's also fairly common to buy bees for the summer and kill the hive at year end because even with human intervention it's really hard to keep the bee hives alive through winter.

If it's a rental situation then they're all removed and any left not transported with the hive would die. There's no risk of invasive species here.

And this is also ignoring the fact that non-queen bees can't have offspring so the risk of invasive species is basically zero.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 6:30 pm

So sad! We can all agree it wasn't intentional.

Speaking of bees! Several years ago I was at Boeing Field in Seattle, standing underneath a DHL Boeing 767. I was talking to a coworker when all of a sudden the sun disappeared. I looked up, and to my horror, there was a massive swarm of bees coming to the plane! I kid you not, this swarm was at least twice the size of the 767! I am allergic to bees, and I did the worst thing you could do. I ran full speed to the building, swatting and yelling. My coworker did the right thing and just stood there in awe. I made it to the building and didn't get one single bee sting!

Anyways, I did contact the University of Washington and tried reaching out to bee keepers to figure out what the heck that was about. Many agreed the yellow plane might have attracted the swarm. I have never seen anything like it in my life, and honestly hope to never see it again! LOL! The hives may have been trying to relocate, and the queen may have been travelling along?

Hopefully lessons were learned regarding this. I would have assumed the bees could withstand the heat.
 
N212R
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 7:37 pm

bchandl wrote:
These bees cannot survive the Alaskan winter and as such they're being rented for a short time in the growing season for Alaska and then would head back to California (or on to another farm location).

So they're all removed and any left untransported with the hive would die. There's no risk of invasive species here.


Bees CAN survive the Alaska winter (and I believe more and more "amateur hive" keepers are attempting to do so) given the correct care and procedures. It's by now means a sure thing, with geographic location playing a big part, but it is done and more frequently than you might surmise.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 11:09 pm

B777LRF wrote:
[*]
MIflyer12 wrote:
One really can't expect any carrier to be expert in the handling of live (whatevers) -- except humans! DL does need to recognize the fragility of certain cargo (just as it has high temp embargos for pets) and specify a routing that can be acceptable to the customer while meeting ops constraints (aircraft type, packaging requirements, forecasted temps).


One very much can, and should, expect a carrier accepting live animals (AVI) to be an expert on the subject. Down to every little minute detail, including being able to quote the IATA LAR ad verbatim.


Uh huh. Would you please cite for us the relevant IATA Live Animal Regulation on bee transport? Show us how much of an expert that would make freight handlers in the subject.
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Tue May 03, 2022 11:59 pm

Huh, in times of summer the airlines also fry their paying passengers in order to save fuel for the APU. Why should bees have it any better?

At least the bees don't pay for being mistreated.
 
rajincajun01
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 12:27 am

Unless their policy has changed, Delta will pay hardly anything for the death of these bees because payout is based on weight of the bees.
 
lat41
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 12:53 am

Chaostheory wrote:
Drop in the ocean compared to what is lost through colony collapse etc

What if it was a shipment of time or temperature sensitive medication? Could we be just as nonchalant?
 
johns624
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 12:54 am

lat41 wrote:
Chaostheory wrote:
Drop in the ocean compared to what is lost through colony collapse etc

What if it was a shipment of time or temperature sensitive medication? Could we be just as nonchalant?
But it wasn't.
 
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zeke
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 2:21 am

N212R wrote:
Bees CAN survive the Alaska winter (and I believe more and more "amateur hive" keepers are attempting to do so) given the correct care and procedures. It's by now means a sure thing, with geographic location playing a big part, but it is done and more frequently than you might surmise.


They could survive in a man made environment, there is no risk to them becoming an invasive species as they could not survive in the wild. Bees tolerate temperatures much like humans, anything outside our temperature range hot or cold is not survivable.
 
B777LRF
Posts: 3053
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 4:08 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
B777LRF wrote:
[*]
MIflyer12 wrote:
One really can't expect any carrier to be expert in the handling of live (whatevers) -- except humans! DL does need to recognize the fragility of certain cargo (just as it has high temp embargos for pets) and specify a routing that can be acceptable to the customer while meeting ops constraints (aircraft type, packaging requirements, forecasted temps).


One very much can, and should, expect a carrier accepting live animals (AVI) to be an expert on the subject. Down to every little minute detail, including being able to quote the IATA LAR ad verbatim.


Uh huh. Would you please cite for us the relevant IATA Live Animal Regulation on bee transport? Show us how much of an expert that would make freight handlers in the subject.


This should suffice: The carrier is responsible for the welfare and safe transport throughout the delivery of all live animals being shipped by air.

If the carrier doesn’t know how to handle bees, then they shouldn’t accept them for transport. Simple as.
 
Cactusjuba
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:06 am

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 5:57 am

The loss sure does sting. If DL has wax in their ears and just drones on, they could bumble this up again. Repeated again, it'd cause such a buzz, they'd risk stiring up the nest and getting swarmed by the angry hive-minded mob. I'm sure the worker bees will gather and comb through all the details so this nectar happens again.
 
AC4500
Posts: 997
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:02 pm

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 6:01 am

Cactusjuba wrote:
The loss sure does sting. If DL has wax in their ears and just drones on, they could bumble this up again. Repeated again, it'd cause such a buzz, they'd risk stiring up the nest and getting swarmed by the angry hive-minded mob out there. I'm sure the worker bees will gather and comb through all the details so this nectar happens again.

Well said. :lol: :rotfl: You've earned this. :trophy:
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 4041
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 9:34 am

chunhimlai wrote:
How crazy the bee farmer is?
Why not transit via east coast city or simply fly directly from SFO

It's likely a freight forwarder arranged the original flights and the schedule.

It is being claimed that Delta instead of putting on the direct flight to Alaska from Sacramento, put the shipment on a connecting flight via Atlanta. Then, once on the ground at Atlanta, things went south very quickly.
 
bchandl
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 4:03 pm

N212R wrote:
bchandl wrote:
These bees cannot survive the Alaskan winter and as such they're being rented for a short time in the growing season for Alaska and then would head back to California (or on to another farm location).

So they're all removed and any left untransported with the hive would die. There's no risk of invasive species here.


Bees CAN survive the Alaska winter (and I believe more and more "amateur hive" keepers are attempting to do so) given the correct care and procedures. It's by now means a sure thing, with geographic location playing a big part, but it is done and more frequently than you might surmise.


Okay, let me rephrase... European honeybees (the bees likely being imported here) cannot survive the Alaskan winter without a bee keeper. Even with human intervention, they don't have great chances of making it through the winter.

So either the hive is rented and goes back to the lower 48, with any stragglers left without a hive and die.... Or the keeper bought them and they're going to kill them off after the season by not managing the hive, or they intend to keep them through the winter and they survive in the hive in limited numbers but theres no invasive species risk because if they swarm in the summer (new queen splits the hive and they leave their box) they're not surviving the winter. A quick google will back that up.

There's no invasive species risk here.
 
FGITD
Posts: 2088
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 5:16 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
It's likely a freight forwarder arranged the original flights and the schedule.

It is being claimed that Delta instead of putting on the direct flight to Alaska from Sacramento, put the shipment on a connecting flight via Atlanta. Then, once on the ground at Atlanta, things went south very quickly.


There’s something about this that strikes me as odd.

I can understand that they couldn’t fit the entire shipment on an e175, but they wouldn’t reroute the whole thing without the forwarder giving the ok. Rather, they’d split it and send half on this flight, half on that flight. But a lot of forwarders don’t like doing that as it leads to split airwaybills, and things can go missing or take longer.

Not that it absolves Delta of any responsibility, but I find it unlikely that they just decided to send the bees to Atlanta on a whim.
 
freakyrat
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Re: Delta Airlines shipping mistake kills millions of bees

Wed May 04, 2022 9:09 pm

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