Dog dies after airline worker has it placed in overhead bin

United Airlines has taken full responsibility for the tragedy

A dog died on a United Airlines plane after a flight attendant ordered its owner to put the animal in the plane’s overhead bin.

United said Tuesday that it took full responsibility for the incident on the Monday night flight from Houston to New York.

In a statement, United called it “a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin.”

The dog was in a small pet carrier designed to fit under an airline seat.

Passengers reported that they heard barking during the flight and didn’t know that the dog had died until the plane landed at LaGuardia Airport.

Passenger Maggie Gremminger posted a photo on Twitter of the dog’s owner and children after the flight. “I want to help this woman and her daughter. They lost their dog because of an @united flight attendant. My heart is broken,” she wrote.

United spokesman Charles Hobart said the flight attendant told the dog’s owner to put the pet carrier in the overhead bin because the bag was partly obstructing the aisle. It is unclear why the carrier was not placed under a seat, he said.

Hobart said United is investigating the incident and talking to the flight attendant, whom he declined to identify. He said the airline refunded the tickets purchased for the dog owner and her two children and the fee that they paid to bring a pet on board — typically $200.

The cause of the dog’s death was not immediately known. The spokesman said Chicago-based United offered to pay for a necropsy.

Last year, 18 animals died while being transported on United — there were six cases on all other U.S. carriers combined, according to the Department of Transportation.

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.

David Koenig, The Associated Press

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Coyotes nip Grizzlies for first win in Okanagan/Shuswap Conference Finals

Osoyoos skates to 4-3 double overtime win over Revelstoke

Glimpses of the Past

From the Revelstoke Brewery shipping its wares in 1983 to a performance by The Victoria Symphony Orchestra in 1978

Casey Brown races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

PHOTOS: Begbie View Elementary students walk out on gun violence

Two elementary school classes held a moment of silence in solidarity with students in the U.S.

VIDEO: B.C. woman to walk across Europe following cancer diagnosis

Michelle Cole says her trip is part of a healing pilgrimage

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

Plane lands safely after takeoff issue

An airplane departing Kelowna International Airport had an issue with a landing gear, landed safely

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read