Dog dies after being placed in overhead bin on United flight

Dog dies after being placed in overhead bin on United flight

Chicago-based United Airlines is accepting responsibility for a dog's in-flight death after a flight attendant ordered its owner to put the pet in the overhead compartment.

"I witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a woman to put her dog carrier with live dog in an overhead bin", Maggie Gremminger of New York City, wrote on Facebook.

United Airlines issued an apology to the passenger, saying, in part, that the dog should never have been placed in the overhead bin and "we assume full responsibility for this tragedy".

In the post, a woman who herself owns a French bulldog like the one who died on the flight, described watching the mother and two young children first be forced to lock the dog's kennel in the overhead compartment and then learn it was not breathing and attempt to resuscitate it.

"I sat behind the family of three and thought myself lucky - who doesn't when they get to sit near a puppy?"

On Tuesday evening, a man named Brayan Castano told BuzzFeed his puppy Kokito was the dog on the flight. "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", according to Gremminger.

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"There was some back and forth before finally the flight attendant convinced her to move the carrier to the bin above", she said. Upon landing at LaGuardia Airport, Lara said the dog was unresponsive. "Maybe they have air ventilation in there that I didn't know about".

A United Airlines representative told Teen Vogue "This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin".

He said the puppy was traveling with his wife Catalina and their two kids back home to NY from a visit with him in Houston, where he is now working. "They assured the safety of the family's pet", June Lara wrote.

"We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again", Schmerin added.

A U.S. Department of Transportation report found United Airlines accounted for a third of pet deaths in the airline industry over the last five years.

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