By Kieran O’Mahony
NOBODY likes being left behind, especially in a busy airport, so it was no picnic for Teddy – a pink teddy bear – when he was stranded at the boarding gate area in Cork Airport on February 5th.
Luckily for Teddy, the Airport’s communications team, with assistance from other departments, took him to their hearts and mounted an extensive social media campaign to reunite Teddy with his owner.
Regular posts on their Facebook page put the word out that Teddy was missing his owner and in the meantime he got to enjoy his temporary home in Cork. Teddy’s story caught the imagination of the public and his predicament was mentioned on Good Morning America, ABC News’ website, and even in Japan.
‘Teddy’s story captured the imagination of the public and it was a great team effort as we sought to find his owner,’ said Kathleen Walsh of the communications team.
‘This was a lovely light-hearted story and people were looking forward to the daily Facebook updates. I guess a lot of people can empathise with a child losing a toy and we had people from all over the world leaving comments.’
The traffic to Cork Airport’s Facebook page grew as followers sought updates on Teddy. One video posted on Friday, February 10th, showing Teddy reflecting with a heart balloon after his owner Anna was contacted, reached 214,272 people with 4,700 likes and 830 shares.
From entertaining passengers to assisting the Airport Police & Fire Service, Teddy had a ball and he even got his own temporary ID which allowed him to carry out patrols and to assist with directing traffic on the forecourt.
Thankfully, last Friday airport officials found Teddy’s owner, two-year-old Anna Howell, originally from Cork, but now living in Amsterdam.
On Monday, Teddy flew out of Cork Airport, courtesy of Aer Lingus who gave him the VIP treatment and a full Irish breakfast. The staff are going to miss Teddy but they are thrilled he was re-united with Anna on Wednesday.
‘I told Anna’s mother that Teddy is now a worldwide star at this stage,’ added Kathleen.