Dog Dies After Being Forced into Overhead Bin On United Flight
By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter
March 13, 2018
A dog has died in a plane after a United Airlines flight attendant forced the passenger carrying the pet to keep it an overhead bin.
According to passengers who witnessed the incident on the flight between Houston and New York's LaGuardia Airport, a flight attendant told a woman to place her dog (which was riding in a TSA-approved pet carrier) in an overhead bin for the rest of the flight.
Passengers reported hearing barking during the flight, but no one knew the dog had expired until the flight was over with.
Another passenger on the flight posted photos of the dead dog to Facebook, along with the story about how it happened.
“There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel,” passenger June Lara writes in a Facebook post. “There was no movement as his family called his name. I held her baby as the mother attempted to resuscitate their 10 month old puppy.”
The flight attendant asked the passenger to move the bag because it was sticking out into the aisle according to witnesses.
Lara writes that after the flight landed, there were no sounds emerging from the pet carrier.
"There was no movement as his family called his name. I held her baby as the mother attempted to resuscitate their 10 month old puppy. I cried with them three minutes later as she sobbed over his lifeless body. My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone."
“I want to help this woman and her daughter. They lost their dog because of an @united flight attendant. My heart is broken,” the image caption reads.
In a statement addressing the incident, United spokesperson wrote that pets should never be placed in an overhead bin.
“This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”
The airline says they will pay for a necropsy of the dog and will refund the price of the family's tickets.
This isn't the first time United has had trouble with its furry passengers. Last August, a King Charles Spaniel named Lulu died in a cargo hold after a long delay on the tarmac. In April of last year, a giant rabbit named Simon was found dead after a United flight between London and Chicago.
The airline says it transported more than 138,000 animals in 2017, more than any other airline.