Questions I've been afraid of, part one
I recently took a trip to Israel on ELAL with my beloved dog, Kishka. Arriving at Ben Gurion airport, the staff held me off for a while without bringing Kishka to me from the luggage compartment of the airplane. I overheard some ground crew staff whispering that the pilot forgot to turn on the heat in the luggage section of the plane, and my dog froze to death. 5 minutes later, the crew nervously brought out a dog, which even though it looked very similar to my dog, I knew right away it wasn't.
"I want my dog!" I yelled at them. They thought they would pull a switcheroo on me?
"But, Madame, this is your dog", they nervously replied.
"Wrong!", I replied, "I was bringing my dog to Israel to be buried. He was ALREADY dead."
My question is, should I ask for an upgrade to business class on my next trip, or should I demand ELAL allow my next pet to accompany me in Economy class?
Before I answer this question I have to speak my mind about the last bit of this question. While halacha may disagree with me, to my mind who you are working for makes NO difference with regard to the general ethics. While the readership of this blog is primarily Jewish I'm pretty sure there are a few non-Jews who stick with me despite the language barrier and frankly that kind of talk embarrasses me. If you are a moral person you will treat everyone with the same respect and ethics regardless of their religion or ethnicity. If you believe that you are among the chosen people then why not be a light to the nations rather than try to screw everyone who doesn't belong to your tribe....even if it is EL AL.
OK. On the one hand, you blame EL AL for attempting to fool you by replacing a dead dog with a live one. On the other hand, the fact is you actually attempted to fool EL AL by replacing what they thought was a live dog with a dead one. So technically, you’re both wrong.
Firstly, if you overheard the conversation saying that they knew where Kishka was, and that he was dead, then why didn’t you claim him? Clearly he wasn’t missing, he was merely a victim of mistaken identity. Or mistaken vitality. Secondly, they already reimbursed you for your dead dog by replacing it with a live one. So you can’t ask for something for nothing when they already gave you something for something. Right now you have a net gain of one dog. And asking them to bring your next pet with you in economy class isn’t even an option. What if you chose a quiet pet, like a cat, or a fish? EL AL needs every seat for passengers who make as much noise as possible.
I think you need to look on the bright side. Considering EL AL’s rigorous baggage-screening process, you should be thankful that no one thought Kishka was a bomb and detonated him outside the cargo hold just to be on the safe side. So treasure all the good times you had with Kishka (a”h), hug your intact new dog, and remember that life is short.