In a second statement following the death of a French bulldog on an internal flight, United Airlines said that the flight attendant who placed a carrier in an overhead bin had no idea a dog was in it. The airline apologized for the incident twice in less than a week.
The company acknowledged that the customer did warn the flight attendant that the pup was inside the box, but the employee either did not hear or understand what the traveler said. United underlined that the flight attendant “did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin.”
The tragic incident spurred a wave of outrage among pet owners and animal activists. In 2017, two dozen pets died on U.S. commercial flights, of those, 18 died on an United flight.
United Promises to Prevent Such Accidents from Happening
Sen. John Kennedy said earlier this week that he would make sure that a new law will prevent such accidents from happening. Kennedy believes dogs should be treated like family members, and not let to die on a plane.
- United promised to add bright-colored visual tags to the pet carriers if a pet is brought in cabin.
- The visual cues will enable flight attendants to identify which bag contains an in-cabin pet.
The dog that died on flight was named Kokito and was a birthday present for a 11-year-old girl called Sophia. The girl said that the flight attendant noticed that Kokito’s carrier was blocking the aisle. Despite the girl’s mom’s repeated warnings that there was a dog inside, she placed it in the overhead bin.
Another passenger confirmed that the woman told the flight attendant that that was an in-cabin pet, but she was ignored. Reportedly, the dog’s barking could be clearly heard after the aircraft took off.
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