Puppy Dies After Being Placed in the Overhead Bin on United Airlines Flight

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Puppy Dies After Being Placed in the Overhead Bin on United Airlines Flight

Million Mile SecretsPuppy Dies After Being Placed in the Overhead Bin on United Airlines FlightMillion Mile Secrets Team

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If you’ve ever owned a pet, you’ll empathize with the profound sadness of this story.

A passenger’s dog died after a flight attendant forced the owner to place it in the overhead bin. 🙁  This is just another incident in a long list of bad press for United Airlines.

United Airlines is taking full responsibility.  But there is still a lot that we do not know.

United Airlines Is In The News Again After Dog Dies During A Flight
Transporting Your Pet on a Plane Is Generally Safe, but It’s Always Important to Know the Airline’s Pet Policy

Here are the details we do have.

Puppy Dies on United Airlines Flight

Witnesses claim that the dog owner was instructed by a flight attendant to put the pet carrier in an overhead bin.  The flight attendant denied knowing there was a dog in the carrier.  But at least one witness says he heard the attendant say “you need to put your dog up here.”

United Airlines is investigating the incident and is taking full responsibility.  They are also fully refunding the passenger’s tickets, and paying for the puppy’s necropsy.

United Airlines transported more animals than any other airline last year.  They also had the highest number of animal deaths reported to the Department of Transportation (~2 deaths per 10,000 transported animals).  Though many of those were supposedly due to pre-existing conditions.

When Shouldn’t You Follow the Flight Attendant’s Instructions?

There is no reason for a pet to ever be in the overhead bin.  And there is nothing in United Airlines pet policy that suggests that demand was necessary.

It’s possible the flight attendant didn’t understand there was a dog in the pet carrier.  But I think it’s highly unlikely.  Most witnesses are suggesting it took quite a bit of coaxing from the flight attendant to convince the passenger to move her dog to the overhead bin.

Bottom Line

The death of a beloved pet is a tragedy, and hopefully United Airlines (and other airlines) can learn from this incident.

This is also a good reminder that before you travel with a pet, it’s important to review more than just the airline pet fees.  Because sometimes even the employees may not be certain what the company’s policies are.

What do you think should be done about this?

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People need to remember they are the voice for their animals. When you adopt a pet, you are agreeing to look out for and maintain their well-being. If this happened while on the ground, I would have got off the plane and dealt with the ground crew and made United do what was right. If I was in the air, refuse and resist. If the FA wants to try and get me arrested when we land, so be it. I am sick of society treating animals like property and hearing “we’ll learn from this”. This dog only learned about the cruelty of people and experienced a horrible death. Then again, what else could be expected when we live in a world where 17 kids get slaughtered in a place of learning and we treat that as a “learning experience” with no real action either. Remember people, YOU are the animals voice. Speak up!

Obviously the flight attendant is to blame, and there may be more details to know, like, what else was in the space in front of the owner’s seat, or was it bulkhead. But the passivity of a whole planeload of passengers astounds me. We can’t just turn into sheep the moment we board a plane. No one thought of standing up for the dog and it’s owner? At the minimum, the owner could have retrieved the bag after takeoff.

Million Mile Secrets

Group think can be hard to overcome. Hopefully, we’ll all learn a good lesson from this.

“What do you think should be done about this?” Firstly, it should be a lesson to all dog owners that a lack of oxygen can kill your pet. A lady on the flight said that they could hear the puppy whimpering and crying. It’s just unfathomable that no one on that flight could figure out that the dog needed attention. We always fly our dogs on JetBlue and have never had a problem. (They are even allowed to earn points.)

Million Mile Secrets

I rarely hear anything bad said about JetBlue. Glad you’ve had a good experience flying with pets!