U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert Tardy Over Pet Dog
kpride, Nov. 3, 2014, 9:57 a.m.
New U.S. Ambassador to Korea Mark Lippert told reporters in Seoul on Thursday that his late arrival was caused by a "minor problem" that led to him missing his flight. Diplomatic sources on Friday said Lippert experienced a problem with American Airlines over his pet dog Grigsby during his transfer in Dallas.
U.S. pet owners must have their dogs fitted with a microchip and have the paperwork to prove they have been vaccinated against rabies and other diseases. Lippert had the paperwork ready, but American Airlines still refused to let Grigsby on board.
Lippert instead flew to Los Angeles, where he spent the night before boarding Korean Air Flight 018 on Wednesday and arriving here on Thursday. He thanked Korean Air. While it is rare for a new U.S. ambassador to arrive late to his new posting, it is even rarer for a diplomat to snub the State Department's expressly designated carrier for a foreign airline.