Dog dies on United Airlines flight

Carla Harmon
March 14, 2018

A passenger on the flight from Houston to LaGuardia airport in NY said a mother and two girls brought their small dog on board in a carrier.

- A United Airlines flight attendant made a family put their puppy and its TSA-compliant pet carrier into the overhead bin for a flight from Houston to New York City Monday night. I assumed there must be ventilation as surely the flight attendant wouldn't have instructed this otherwise.

"I sat behind the family of three [a mother, a daughter, and an infant] and thought myself lucky - who doesn't when they get to sit near a puppy?", Lara wrote.

In a statement, United accepted responsibility for the incident.

In 2017, 18 pets died out of the 138,178 pets that were transported on United Airlines, according to the Department of Transportation.

According to the community relations manager, a flight attendant approached the woman and told her the bag needed to be moved to the overhead storage bin because it was blocking part of the aisle.

Following reports of the dog's death being published, the family came forward and revealed the dog was only a 10-month-old puppy called Kokito.

Passengers said the dog was barking during the flight and was later found dead.

Maggie Gremminger, who was on the flight and tweeted about witnessing the incident, told People the French bulldog's owner, who is unnamed, initially placed the dog carrier under the seat in front of her. She said the woman was "very hesitant and reluctant", and explained her dog was in the carrier. "My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone", the post added.

United says it's special "PetSafe" facilities are meant to help safely transport animals that are not allowed to travel in the cabin of the aircraft with their owners.

United Airlines say they are now investigating the animal's death and have apologized for the 'accident'. It was suspected that a two-hour flight delay, with temperatures in the 90s, was the cause of the dog's death.

When the airplane landed at LaGuardia Airport and the owner opened the overhead bin, the puppy was no longer breathing.

The airline's pet policy states, "A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel".

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