Virgin Australia apologises after passenger accused airline of a disgraceful act in extreme heat on the runway

An angry passenger has slammed Virgin Australia over the way the airline treated her pet dog after the animal was left in sweltering conditions in a cage wrapped in plastic on an airport tarmac.

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 in the crate.

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

Shocking footage showed Ms Partridge’s dog tightly sealed in the cage with plastic wrapped tightly around the outside to cover the air holes.

Navi was forced to wait in the hot sun for more than half an hour, forcing an outraged Mrs Partridge to plead with ground staff to have the dog moved out of the sun.

An angry passenger slammed Virgin Australia after her pet dog was left in sweltering conditions on an airport tarmac in a container tightly wrapped in plastic (pictured)

An angry passenger slammed Virgin Australia after her pet dog was left in sweltering conditions on an airport tarmac in a container tightly wrapped in plastic (pictured)

Fearing for her dog’s welfare, Ms Partridge got into a tense standoff with airline staff and refused to board the flight until her pet was removed from the tarmac.

“It turned into one of the most stressful and traumatic experiences of my life,” Ms Partridge said 7 News.

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

“I would really like to know what moron thinks this is an effective and safe way to restrain the animals.”

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

A Virgin Australia spokesperson told USA Online Post Australia that the airline’s staff could have done better to ensure the animals were kept from possible harm.

Ms Partridge (pictured) said her pet dog's life was put at risk when the animal was left in the crate on a metal trailer as the temperature soared past 30C.

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

The spokesperson said the employees and ground staff had received training to prevent such 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 top priority.’

RSPCA guidelines state that some pets are more susceptible to heat stress than others when flying on an aircraft.

The containers in which pets are kept during transport on an aircraft must have enough space for animals to stand and lie down.

They must also have sufficient ventilation and provide shade from the weather and comply with the regulations set out by the International Air Transport Association.

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