Recently, yet another incident has plagued United Airlines’s already black-eyed reputation. On United Airlines flight #1284 from Houston headed to New York City, a french bulldog died after being placed in an overhead bin for the four-hour flight. Maggie Gremminger, a fellow passenger, was heartbroken by the incident and talked about her perspective with People. She stated, “A stranger offered to hold her newborn while she sat on the floor, there in the airplane aisle. She was holding her dog and rocking back and forth. Her daughter was also crying… People who could not see what was happening were confused as to what was going on. I tried to encourage people to let them off first but it was confusing and so we waited for the rows to filter out. It was horrible.”
According to United Airlines’ policy for travelling with pets, a pet that is travelling in the cabin must be placed in an approved carrier kennel. The kennel must fit under the seat completely and remain there throughout the duration of the flight. However, when the dog was found dead after the flight, the flight attendant was said to have been found “frazzled” and stated that she was not aware of there being a live animal in the carrier.
Since this incident comes at a time following multiple incidents of bad performance from United Airlines, it only adds to the bad reputation this company is getting recently in the media. United Airlines, stepping up for the blame, has again announced that it has taken responsibility for this incident, and that animals should never be placed in the overhead compartments. This accident could have been avoided, as overhead compartments, although they may not be airtight, allow for very little airflow, if any for any living creature to breathe. The airlines commented, “This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred,” and also expressed their condolences to the family. The airline has also confirmed that they will be fully refunding the price of the tickets to the family as well as pay for the necropsy.
Photo via Maggie Gremminger, PeoplePets