Dog Abuse

Puppy Dies on United Flight When Attendant Forced the Dog into Overhead Bin

During a Monday evening United Airlines flight from Houston to New York, a flight attendant forced a passenger to stow her puppy in the aircraft’s overhead bin. When the flight landed, the 10-month old dog was dead.

united

According to passengers on United flight 1284 from Houston Intercontinental to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, a passenger traveling with her teenage daughter and a young infant boarded the flight carrying-on a TSA-compliant pet carrier.

Shortly after she was seated, with the dog stowed beneath the seat in front of her, a United Airlines flight attendant ordered her to move the carrier, with the 10-month old French Bulldog, Kokito, inside, to the overhead bin for the duration of the 3-hour flight, saying that the carrier was blocking the aisle.

“The flight attendant told the passenger that her bag was blocking part of the aisle. I could not see it, as I was already in my seat, but it sounded like it was somehow not completely fitting beneath the seat in front of her,” Actor Maggie Gremminger, who was seated behind the family tweeted of the encounter.

“After the flight attendant asked her to move it above, the woman adamantly refused, communicating her dog was in the bag. There was some back and forth before finally the flight attendant convinced her to move the carrier to the bin above.”

Fellow passengers reported hearing the dog barking from the overhead bin during the flight, but that the dog was quiet by the time they landed.

It wasn’t until the passenger retrieved her carrier from the overhead bin and opened it that she, and the other passengers on board, learned the puppy had died. Gremminger posted that she and other passengers had heard the dog barking and “we didn’t know it was a barking cry for help.”

“I sat behind the family of three and thought myself lucky – who doesn’t when they get to sit near a puppy?” passenger June Lara wrote in a Facebook post. “However, the flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water. They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow. They assured the safety of the family’s pet so wearily, the mother agreed.”

“There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel,” he added “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.”

United Airlines has reached out to passengers who were on the flight for more information for their investigation into the incident.

“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,” the airline said in a statement. “We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

The airline is paying for a necropsy of the puppy and is refunding the flight tickets.

United Airlines pet policy states that non-service dogs are permitted in the cabin as long as the dog “is in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.”

In 2017, United Airlines was blamed in the death of 18 animal passengers, while both American Airlines and Delta Airlines were linked to two deaths each.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. idgee

    Mar 14, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    stewardess involved should be in jail for murder-united should have to pay huge fine to support animal abuse-family seem like idiots as well-what kind of idiots would do what the psycho stew wanted-REFUSE-get off the plane -do anything but don’t do anything to harm the pet you claim to love-didn’t they check on the dog?was the trip so important that you would let your pet gie?yes they should feel guilty as well-no sympathy for anyone but the dog-boycott United.

  2. sherry

    Mar 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I feel so terrible for this family as well as the poor puppy. Anyone who acquires a dog should know about it’s welfare, and French Bulldogs owners should be well aware that the breed can easily have its breathing compromised. Since the airlines have restrictions about sending such breeds as cargo, the flight attendant should have known this as well. I just flew back last night on a flight from Newark to Houston, and make that flight often. I can understand how a woman traveling with two unusual passengers, a dog and an infant might be easily intimidated by flight personnel, especially after all the publicity about people being dragged off of planes, but my exprience leads me to believe, the initial attitude of the flight attendants wasn’t attentive enough to make the woman feel welcome on board.

  3. belle

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:23 am

    To make your voice heard, you need to call, leave voicemails, email, mail the executive committee and investor relations at
    that you will never fly United Airlines again and will share this with everyone
    This flight attendant should be convicted of animal cruelty and all the flight attendant assets should be donated for saving pets lives, and United Airlines should be required to pay a fine of 1 million dollars to pet rescues to save pets lives as their punishment and fine.

    http://ir.united.com/corporate-governance/company-leadership

    (872) 825-8610

    [email protected]

    United Airlines Investor Relations
    P.O. Box 505000
    Louisville, KY 40233

    .

    • patti brown

      Mar 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      what a puta of a stew yes i will use the insulting word stew because she is a nasty idoit to tell a family and for the sweet puppy in an overhead compartment. I don’t know why the family did’nt check on their pet maybe fear or intimadation or why nobody on the plane thouht to. But my my what a PUTA of a stew. Psychos shouldn’t be working on planes. I would never use that airline.

  4. Kristine

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:12 am

    No offense but the puppies owner did not have to comply………. if the reasoning was that the puppy under the seat is blocking the aisle… I would have moved the puppy under the seat by the window… after all, if she was traveling with 2 kids she had more than 1 seat.

    While the airline and flight attendant is partially responsible, it is the owner who is fully responsible for the health of her puppy and knowing her rights.

    And who doesn’t check on the welfare of her dog for the whole duration of a 4 hours flight??

    The other passengers are also uncaring people… not one stood up in support of the woman when she was trying to refuse to comply?!? Sad how noone cared.

    I only feel sorry for the poor innocent puppy who had to suffocate because of the stupidity of people.

    • Leisa Grill

      Mar 15, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      I have to agree. Sometimes, though the flight attendants can be intimidating. I got into it with one on a Northwest flight when she didn’t want me to sit in an empty seat by an exit door. I moved because a kid in front of me was unruly and it looked like his Dad had his hands full. When I tried to explain my move she argued with me about it and said something stupid like , “If the child didn’t like you I would stick up for YOU” which wasn’t even the point. It got a bit heated. She was rude and out of line and a bit threatening with her “authority” on the plane. I fought back but some people wouldn’t, especially with a kid in tow. (Wish I’d been on this flight…) To me, I’d get off the plane and complain to someone higher up rather than risk my dog’s life. Paying for a necropsy and a free flight doesn’t make up for the loss of a family pet. This is shameful and this attendant should be disciplined. If the planes hadn’t cut down on space and made flying incrementally more stressful for everyone on board over the last few decades stuff like this wouldn’t happen.

  5. joan pashinsky-Greve

    Mar 14, 2018 at 11:04 am

    oh Jesus, when i heard this on the news today, i froze in horror.
    how could you ,you piece of crap stewardess, your day will come lady
    for something precious in your life to die or to be tortured like that
    baby fur child.i hope it gives you nightmares, and if they didn’t fire you
    well lets just say what comes around goes around… my sympathy’s for the
    family you traumatized forever.

  6. Sheree Bell

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:11 am

    THis story made me feel physically sick. I am crying here. What kind of training do the cabin crew have on these flights? What an idiot to think a dog could survive that. This has happened because animals have come to be deemed commodities and not sentient beings. That poor dog, suffocating to death and crying out for help. Ignored in its last breath. The WHOLE cabin crew are to blame here and why didnt other passengers kick up a fuss? I could never have allowed that to happen. RIP innocent puppy and I hope the staff member has lost their job and their colleagues all disciplined.

  7. Sheree Bell

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:10 am

    THis story made me feel physically sick. I am crying here. What kind of training do the cabin crew have on these flights? What an idiot to think a dog could survive that. This has happened because animals have come to be deemed commodities and not sentient beings. That poor dog, suffocating to deahth and crying out for help. Ignored in its last breath. The WHOLE cabin crew are to blame here and why didnt other passengers kick up a fuss? I could never have allowed that to happen. RIP innocent puppy and I hope the staff member has lost their job and their colleagues all disciplined.

  8. marilyn johnson

    Mar 13, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Well that airline can kiss my ass goodbye. I will also tell as many people as possible about this incident. No I am not totally loony. I am very much against people with fake/bogus therapy dogs/animals, they are ruining the accommodations afforded REAL TRAINED ASSISTANT DOGS.

  9. ed harris

    Mar 13, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    I hate United Air. Unforgivable!

  10. Brenda Bartlett

    Mar 13, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    It’s time to boycott United Airlines for a start, and the flight attendant that caused this should not only be TERMINATED, but SHE should be the one held liable for any and all damages in this dogs death. Disgusting to say the least. This would have never happened if it were my dog that’s a guarantee.

    • Jim

      Mar 14, 2018 at 12:33 am

      I would have shoved that bitch in the over head bin piece by piece the passengers would have had to subdue me as I beat her to her last breath!! If I find out who she is I will plaster her address and picture all over social media. I speak for the innocence who can’t speak for themselves, Revenge will come in this life or the next.

      • joan pashinsky-Greve

        Mar 14, 2018 at 11:07 am

        Thank-you Jim

        perfectly said,please please find out the details im on board with some chose
        words for the murderer

  11. Barbara

    Mar 13, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    You are a horrible company to Allow to have a puppy to be shoved in a an overhead bin then dies? Blame your company and the owner because I would have left the flight rather than risking that poor puppies life.! Not to mentiion I would of gone public on how I and that poor pup was treated!! UNbelevable

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