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Virgin Australia apologizes after passenger accuses airline of disgraceful act in extreme heat on runway

A furious passenger has slammed Virgin Australia over the airline’s treatment of her dog after the animal was left in a cage wrapped in plastic on an airport tarmac in steamy conditions.

Kelsey Partridge was waiting to board her flight to Victoria from Perth Airport on January 8 when she noticed her Japanese Spitz, Navi, waiting helplessly inside a crate.

A horrified passenger watched as the six-year-old dog was left waiting on a metal trailer along with three other animals to be shipped out as temperatures soared above 30 degrees.

The shocking footage showed Mrs Partridge’s dog being tightly sealed inside the cage with plastic sheeting, which is tightly wrapped around the outside to cover the air holes.

Navi was forced to wait in the hot sun for more than half an hour, prompting a furious Mrs Partridge to plead with ground staff to move the dog out of the sun.

A furious passenger hit out at Virgin Australia after her dog was left on the tarmac in steamy conditions in a container tightly wrapped in plastic (pictured)

Fearing for her dog’s welfare, Ms Partridge became involved in a tense situation with airline staff and refused to board the plane until her pet was removed from the tarmac.

«It turned into one of the most stressful and traumatic experiences of my life,» Ms Partridge told 7 News.

She said the experience left Navi dehydrated and desperate and put the dog’s life at risk.

“I’d really like to know what the moron thought was an effective and safe way to restrain animals.

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The dog was eventually removed from the tarmac by ground staff and taken safely on the four-hour flight to Victoria.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that airline staff could have done better to ensure the animals were not harmed.

Mrs Partridge (pictured) said her dog’s life was put at risk when the animal was left inside a crate on a metal trailer as the temperature soared above 30C.

A spokesman said staff and ground staff had received training to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

«Following this incident, our cargo and ramp team underwent an internal review of processes,» the spokesperson said.

«The health, safety and well-being of all Virgin Australia guests, including pets traveling with us, is our highest priority.»

RSPCA guidance states that some pets are more susceptible to heat stress when flying on an airplane than others.

Containers in which pets are kept during air transport must have enough space for the animals to stand and lie down.

It must also have adequate ventilation and provide shade from the elements and meet the regulations set by the International Air Transport Association.

Passengers are encouraged to fly with their pets when the weather is cooler to avoid heat stress.

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