Think not twice, but umpteen times before you let your beloved dog fly, especially if you are flying United Airlines. On Monday evening, a dog was allegedly stuffed into an overhead compartment of a flight from Houston to New York’s LaGuardia Airport. According to reports, the dog barked and howled for two hours, but the flight attendant refused to release it and that resulted in the dog's death.
The French Bulldog was with his human family - a young girl, a toddler and mother.
According to a Twitter user, who witnessed the incident, the flight attendant forced the passenger to put the dog in the compartment.
"At the end of the flight journey, the woman found her dog dead. She sat in the aeroplane aisle on the floor crying, and all other passengers were utterly stunned."
June Lara, another passenger wrote on Facebook, "the flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water.They assured the safety of the family's pet so wearily, the mother agreed."
"Today, I boarded my last United Airlines flight," the passenger added.
I just flew into LGA and witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a passenger to put her dog bag in the overhead bin. It was clearly a dog and while the customer was adamant about leaving it under the seat, the attendant pushed her to do so. (1)— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem) March 13, 2018
Myself and a fellow passenger felt like that was NOT a thing. I am not a flight attendant tho. Maybe they have air ventilation in there that I didn’t know about. I tried googling rules about pets on board but didn’t have ample time before takeout. (2)— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem) March 13, 2018
At the end of the flight, the woman found her dog, deceased. She sat in the airplane aisle on the floor crying, and all of surrounding passengers were utterly stunned. (3)— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem) March 13, 2018
An NYT report said that United Airlines has apologized for the tragic incident. This, however, is not the first time the airline has been accused of acting rough with passengers and their belongings and pets.
I am disgusted and traumatized. Pets are family. How could a trained flight attendant instruct a passenger to place her dog in that bin. It was her job to understand the plane and it’s rules/limitations. (4)— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem) March 13, 2018
United Airlines had the worst record of US airlines on pet deaths on planes in 2017, according to a report from the Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report. That would be the third year in a row that the airline has earned that unfortunate distinction. In eighteen pets died under the airline's care and 13 suffered injuries. 2017 number of deaths was up from 2016, in which, nine pets died, and fourteen were injured.
From January 2012 through February 2017 United Airlines had 53 animals die on its flights. That compared with a total of 136 animals that died on all flights of airlines.
Facebook, Twitter has several posts of passengers giving a detailed account on how the United Airlines treated their pets.
Shawn Moore, a Facebook user from Baltimore said, "I tried to fly United with my dog last summer, and at the last minute they refused to let us, and another couple with a dog, board. They then locked Jim Blooshi (who was in his crate) inside the warehouse where I could not reach to retrieve him. Finally, they opened the door and kicked (yes, kicked) his crate out of their way to where I could retrieve it."
The passenger then flew Delta.
In 2017, the death of a giant rabbit on a United Airlines flight from London to Chicago focused the spotlight again on the carrier that has struggled with more than one-third of US animal deaths aboard passenger flights during the last five years.
These are the guidelines United Airlines has set for passengers with pets
— The animal is expected to be seated in the floor space below your seat
— The animal should not extend into the aisles
— The animal must behave properly in public and should follow directions from its owner
Probably, next time, the airlines with set guidelines for its employees on how to deal with people's pets.