United Airlines Apologizes After Dog Dies in Overhead Compartment

Darnell Taylor
March 14, 2018

The incident happened after a flight attendant reportedly instructed its owner to store the pet carrier that held the dog in the overhead compartment.

In Monday's episode, the pet owner discovered her dog was dead shortly after the plane landed at La Guardia Airport.

United has suffered a string of incidents that generated bad publicity in the last two years, including the violent removal of a passenger from a United Express plane to make room for a crew member, and the death of a giant rabbit - its Iowa owners sued the airline, which they said cremated the animal to destroy evidence about the cause of death. "She was saying verbally, 'My dog is in here, no, this is my dog.' The flight attendant, in response, really just continued to ask her to put it above because it was a hazard where it was, it was a safety emergency, someone could trip".

CBS News reported on the story, which went viral after a passenger on the flight posted a photo of the dog, who was named Papicito, after it died.

"I want to help this woman and her daughter".

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According to fellow passenger Maggie Gremminger, the woman wanted to keep the dog, which was in a small carrying bag, under her seat, but the flight attendant insisted that she put the animal overhead.

When the woman was forced to place the dog in the overhead bin, Gremminger exchanged glances with the man next to her. "The woman was crying in the airplane aisle on the floor", Gremminger told One Mile at a Time.

'The flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water, ' he wrote on Facebook. "She made sure the flight attendant understood there was her dog and when the flight attendant still pushed her. My heart is broken", she wrote.

The airline's policy states that all animals traveling inside the cabin should be in a carrier and 'fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times'. "We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again", United Airlines spokesperson said. She added that United offered her and another passenger who witnessed the incident a $75 voucher each but they turned it down.

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