Animal Deaths on United Airlines

Mia Noel

A family was flying from Houston, Texas to New York, this year, with their 10 month old French Bulldog. When the family got onto the plane the flight attendant told the family that they needed to put their carrier in the overhead bin. The family tried to explain to her that there was a dog in the approved carrier, but she still forced themImage result for all black french bulldog to put their carrier into the overhead bin. There were reports of other passengers hearing the dog barking while he was in the overhead while the plane was in the air. The plane landed at the LaGuardia Airport only for the family to find that their puppy had suffocated to death while on the flight. “I wanted to help this woman and her daughter,” Maggie Gremminger, a passenger on the flight, later tweeted. “They lost their dog because of a united flight attendant. My heart is broken.” The United Airlines Company announced that they’re looking into this incident and are expressing their utmost sympathy to this family. “This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” the company says in a statement. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them.” However, while they are taking complete responsibility for this incident they are saying that the flight attendant did not hear or understand that there was a dog inside of the carrier. The United Image result for german shepherdAirlines policy says that a pet traveling in the airplane cabin must be carried in an approved hard sided or soft sided kennel. Additionally, the kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the owner and remain there at all times. Also this year, a family that landed at an airport in Kansas City, Missouri expecting to be reconnected with their German Shepard were instead greeted by a Great Dane that they had never met before. As it turns out United Airlines had mixed up the two dogs and sent the German Shepherd to Japan, instead of Missouri, and sent the Great Dane to Missouri, instead of Japan.

This is not the first time that a pet has died on a United Airlines flight either. United Airlines has the highest number of animal deaths and injuries of any U.S. airline in 2017, based on the Department of Transportation’s data. 24 pet deaths occurred last year on U.S. airlines and 18 of the pets were in the care of United Airlines. “Putting pets in cargo areas should be avoided whenever possible,” Inga Fricke, director of pet retention programs at the Humane Society of the United States commented. “Once that animal is out of your control, there are so many risks it can be exposed to that it’s just not worth it”. Louisiana Senator John Kennedy has written a letter to the president of United Airlines, J. Scott Kirby. “For many people, pets are members of the family. They should not be treated like insignificant cargo. Frankly, they shouldn’t be placed in the cargo hold much less an overhead bin.” People believe that pets should not be kept in any sort of cargo hold and should be kept with their owners in an approved carrier in order to keep pets safe and alive.