Skift Take

Delta has a dog in this fight — and is trying to shut down a website and service falsely intimating that it has ties to the airline.

A website is tricking people into thinking they’re dealing with Delta Air Lines when arranging for their pets to fly on jets, the Atlanta-based company maintains in a new federal lawsuit.

The site — — is designed to look like a Delta site and uses the airline’s logos and pictures of its planes, Delta said in the lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Georgia. But the site isn’t affiliated with the airline and has no right to use its trademarks the complaint says.

The website solicits pet-shipment payments while posing as Delta, but offers no services, Delta maintains.

The site is being used “to advertise bogus pet air-transport services and to dupe intended victims into believing that they are dealing with Delta and are tendering pet shipment-related payments and fees directly to Delta,” Delta states in the complaint.

The site includes pictures of children hugging a dog and smiling pet owners, and explains how pets will travel.

“It’s another teary goodbye as we fill the water container and ensure your pet is comfortable and relaxed inside his/her travelling crate. From here the door is sealed shut with cable ties until your pet reaches their destination,” the site states.

But whoever is behind the site is a mystery.

It was created earlier this year using a service that masks the identities of people registering internet domains. A phone number at the site uses an area code that Delta says does not exist in the United States. The physical address on the site is a street in a fictitious city: Simi Valley, Nevada.

Since the site’s operators aren’t yet known, defendants in the lawsuit are named as “John Does 1-25.” However, Delta vows in the lawsuit that it will determine their identities through its investigation.

A message from The Associated Press to the email address on the site got no response Friday.

Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant said Friday the site has “no association with Delta.”

“We will always take action to defend our brand and prevent our customers from being confused and misled,” he said in an email.

Though much of the advertising pitch on the site reads as though it’s from an airline, there is also some gibberish mixed in. For instance, the pet transit site also promises to “phosfluorescently impact enterprise-wide platforms after future-proof niche markets” and informs pet owners that “the generated Lorem Ipsum is therefore always free from repetition etc.”

This article was written by Jeff Martin from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Tags: delta, litigation, pets

Photo credit: Princess and Dallas play in one of the dog parks at the Lauderdale Pet Lodge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 5, 2013. The facility is NOT related to a website that is erroneously trying to convince consumers it is affiliated with Delta Air Lines. Susan Stocker / Sun Sentinel/MCT