British Airways staff have gone that extra mile – or 4,600 miles to be precise – to reunite a 30-year-old teddy with his eight-month old owner in Wakefield.
Prized teddy-bear Pooh, disappeared in Buenos Aires when he was visiting the Argentinian capital with the Cranmer family from Wakefield and their young son Woody.
Pooh has been part of the family for over 30 years and originally belonging to dad Scott, and has been Woody’s constant companion since his birth.
Once they realised Pooh had gone missing, the distraught family took to social media to try and find him.
Grandmother Moira posted a message on the British Airways Facebook page asking for help to track the wayward teddy.
Within days the missing bear had been found by the British Airways Buenos Aires team and given a temporary home at the airport.
Marcela Alasino, British Airways’ airport manager in Buenos Aires, gave the good news to the delighted family, now back in the UK, on Facebook and started to make arrangements to fly him home.
The team rolled out the red carpet for the VIB – Very Important Bear – and sent him home in style, flying in the comfort in the airline’s business class Club World cabin, where the crew took personal care of him.
Pooh was even issued with his own Gold Executive Club card in the name of Mr P Bear. In common with all intrepid travellers, each stage of his adventure was photographed for posterity, at the request of his family, to be made into a special book for Woody.
The last leg of his long journey home was this weekend when he touched down after travelling on a British Airways flight from Heathrow to Leeds Bradford Airport to finally be reunited with his grateful family.
Scott said: “I know to some people it’s only a silly teddy, but Pooh has been part of my life for the last 30 years, so when Woody was born, it was a huge thing to pass Pooh into Wood’s care.
“We were so worried when we lost Pooh, while we were visiting Woody’s grandfather in Buenos Aires so we were eternally grateful to British Airways for finding him and returning him to my little boy. They go everywhere together and they’re inseparable when it comes time to go to bed.”
The final photo for the book was taken on Saturday when April Clements, a passenger agent with British Airways’ ground handling agent Swissport at Leeds Bradford Airport, finally put Pooh back in the arms of Woody and his family.
Scott said: “He has had a great adventure and we’re so happy he’s finally landed back home. We’ll have a great book to show Woody when he’s older. I’d just like to thank everyone for their help in getting him home. Everyone has been superb.”