Why I 100% Blame United Airlines For Dog’s Death, Not Fellow Passengers

Filed Under: United

Earlier I wrote about the heartbreaking story of how a United flight attendant instructed a passenger to place her dog (in a carrier) in an overhead bin, and at the end of the flight the dog was found dead. As someone who loves dogs (probably) far too much, I’m so disturbed and enraged by the story.

At a minimum I hope that the flight attendants gets seriously disciplined. If an investigation determines that the flight attendant was aware there was a dog in there (which every eyewitness report corroborates) I’d like to see the flight attendant fired and/or face animal cruelty charges, though I doubt that will happen. Dogs are part of the family for many people, so I can’t even imagine what a horrible, helpless situation this must have been.

Several readers have asked some valid questions about how this could have possibly happened. Why would the lady follow the flight attendant’s instructions to place her dog in the overhead bin? Why didn’t any of the other passengers around her who witnessed the situation say anything? Of course hindsight is 20/20, and I think we’re all thinking to ourselves that if this were our dog, it wouldn’t have happened.

However, I can see exactly what transpired that caused this to happen, and I put the blame squarely on the flight attendant for not following procedures.

What do I think lead to this?

Clearly the passenger was overwhelmed

For a vast majority of people, flying is stressful, and it isn’t a weekly occurrence. I imagine that this woman felt significantly more stress than most travelers — she was traveling with a teenager, an infant, and a dog. Clearly she was just trying to get through the day. Eyewitness reports suggest that she tried to push back firmly when the flight attendant requested she place the dog in the overhead bin. Eventually she gave in, as presumably she didn’t want to be kicked off the plane. She also probably assumed that if the flight attendant was recommending it, it must be safe.

Some say “well maybe she shouldn’t have traveled with a teenager, an infant, and a dog.” Why not? There’s no airline policy against that, and an airlines’ most important task is to transport people safely. Furthermore, we don’t know what circumstances she had. Sure, traveling like that probably isn’t ideal, but would it have been safer for them to drive for four days?

Why didn’t other passengers do anything?

For better or worse, we’re sheep when we go to the airport. Airlines have conditioned us that way. We wait in a check-in line. We wait in a security line. We wait in a line to board the plane. We get yelled at and threatened if we don’t follow instructions. As much as we’d like to think that’s not the case, just about any experiment supports this theory even in circumstances that are significantly less stressful than going to the airport. We assume that if everyone else is doing something, it’s okay. Conversely, we assume that if no one else is saying anything, it must be okay as well. We’d like to think that’s not the case, but it absolutely is.

Here’s an old video that demonstrates exactly the peer pressure we succumb to:

“Follow crewmember instructions at all time”

How many stories have gone viral over the years of passengers being removed from planes? It has gotten to the point where we’re afraid to speak up. We’re afraid it’ll mean that we get kicked off the plane by an employee on a power trip. Passengers watched without comment as Dr. Dao was violently removed from a plane, causing permanent damage. Why would things be different here?

Airlines are different than most other businesses, because it’s one of the few for-profit businesses where employees are allowed to threaten passengers without fear of repercussions.

When you add in our general sheep mentality on planes, and the stress of airports, and the fear we have of airline employees (which is exactly how they want us to feel), you have the perfect recipe for something like this to happen.

I didn’t realize being in an overhead bin would kill a dog

I feel like I should add this as well, because I’m curious if I’m in the minority here. Clearly this isn’t my area of expertise, but I wouldn’t have assumed that putting a dog in the overhead bin was particularly dangerous. Don’t get me wrong. it doesn’t seem especially safe (in terms of the risk of carry-on items shifting around), but I also wouldn’t have assumed that this was extremely dangerous. Then again, I’m not sure if the dog suffocated, if it had a heart attack, or if it got crushed by other bags (all of which are horrible scenarios).

I’m curious if others feel differently? If I had witnessed this I would have probably thought that it seems very unusual and not particularly safe, but my initial reaction wouldn’t have been “OMG the dog is going to die in there.” I suspect others on this flight felt the same way? I’d like to think that if anyone thought the dog was going to die, they would have spoken up.

Bottom line

For the above reasons I think the blame for this situation falls squarely on the flight attendant (and the airline, for their culture). Several eyewitness reports confirm that the flight attendant was aware there was a dog in there. The bag in question was also very clearly a pet carrier. Presumably at check-in an agent verified the size and weight of the dog and carrier, to ensure it was compliant.

No matter how you slice it, the flight attendant was being negligent, in my opinion:

  • Even if the flight attendant wasn’t aware that this was life threatening, crews are taught to follow protocols, and there’s no protocol for placing dogs in the overhead bin
  • If this was an issue of the lady having too many bags, or something, then she should have been presented with the option to check a bag or deplane; putting the dog in a situation like that isn’t appropriate

So I guess the way I view it, airlines can’t have it both ways. If flight attendants are flight safety professionals and their orders must be followed at all times, then they’re 100% responsible when they go off script. I’m going to assume that the flight attendant wasn’t a dog-hater who wanted to murder the poor dog. But that doesn’t make her any less responsible.

I’ll be curious to see how United’s flight attendant union, the AFA, responds to this. The AFA constantly stresses how the most important duty of flight attendants is safety. Will they try to defend this flight attendant even though she clearly violated the safety protocols, or will they take a stand and say that this is wrong?

I also wonder how United responds. They say they are “thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.” Hopefully United has learned from their past mistakes, does a thorough investigation, and releases to the public what is being done to prevent something like this from happening in the future. It just blows my mind how one airline is able to consistently dig themselves such deep holes.

  1. It’s pretty simple. If airlines are going to demand that passengers follow crew member instructions at all times, and threaten criminal prosecution for anyone who does not follow instructions, they should be prepared to be 100% responsible when those directions result in injury, death, property damage or animal cruelty. Can’t have it both ways, if you want to be the only one who gets to make choices, better be ready to live with the consequences. Based on the multiple eyewitness accounts, the Flight attendant should have been fired already. Not disciplined. Fired. He/She is not suited for the job of managing the safety of over 100 passengers.

  2. See, I’d actually be less worried about suffocation as a direct result of the overhead bins and more worried about heavier bags shifting into/compressing the typically much softer side pet carriers (“bags may have shifted during takeoff and landing”). I suspect that may have been what happened here in this awful situation.

  3. If a dog in a flimsy mesh carrier goes up in the overhead any bags in front of it would be pressure back on the carrier during takeoff or vice versa at landing when one should “be aware that belongs may have shifted in the overhead bins”. Poor dog probably got slammed by a very full carryon up there and pressure applied throughout an airplane’s climb to cruising altitude. Hope that flight attendant gets fired

  4. “At a minimum I hope that the flight attendants gets seriously disciplined.”

    Good luck.

    But, you see, UAL is so heavily unionized, with progressive discipline meted out only within the confines of multiple layers of review, that that likely CANNOT happen.

  5. Lucky I am curious too about why the dog died. Maybe it was a heart attack induced from panic. I am sure their won’t be an autopsy but I am not convinced the dog died because of suffocation. I am also not 100% convinced it died as a result of being in the overhead bin. Maybe the pet would have died even underneath the seat. Agree the flight attendant is to be blamed for the dog going into the overhead. I am just not convinced that’s what killed the dog. I am curious though as to why no one checked on the dog in flight. Witnesses said the dog kept crying for help during the whole flight. That’s where I am confused. You would think at that point someone would have opened the bin to check on the poor dog.

  6. @Aaron that makes sense. Maybe the poor dog was crushed. That would explain the cries for help. Now I am even more depressed.

  7. You’re right to blame United. This is ridiculous.

    AFA will support the Flight Attendant. They are required to under the law. They have a duty of fair representation. That doesn’t mean that they will say that what she did was correct either. My guess is that they’ll say that she wasn’t properly trained by the airline and the that the airline is at fault. We will see. I would be shocked, however, if this resulted in the employees termination. That just doesn’t happen in the airline industry. Well, on second thought, it does happen. If you don’t pay your dues to the union, they demand your termination that day, and it happens.

    Another prediction. United will nickel and dime this poor family on compensation too. Dogs are worth their fair market value — which isn’t a lot. They’ll try to get away with offering vouchers and hope it goes away.

    This is a terrible story.

  8. Agree with prior commenters – based on multiple passenger witnesses and the victim here, this flight attendant should be fired, not disciplined. Unclear why they needed the carrier in the overhead bin but even a moron should know it doesn’t sound safe for a living animal to be in a soft case in the overhead bin with shifting 20+ lb bags (never mind lack of oxygen which I also wasn’t aware of).

  9. I absolutely agree that the employee is 100% to blame, but my only issue with this post is this:

    “the fear we have of airline employees (which is exactly how they want us to feel)”.

    I think that’s not a fair statement. And no, I don’t work for an airline and never have, for I would be fired on my first day after telling a rude passenger to fuck off. I do know several people who work for airlines, both on the ground and in the air, and I can’t imagine any one of them wanting the passengers to be afraid of them. I do think that many times the flight attendants are experiencing the same level of stress as the passengers are unfortunately.

    Again, that is not to say that this employee was justified. If United has already made it clear in their response that pets should never be put in the overhead bins (which, obviously) then this employee was either incompetent or heartless, or both.

  10. United would gain a lot of good PR by doing the right thing and immediately and publicly terminating the crew member in question and referring the case to local authorities to investigate for animal cruelty. It would send a message to crew members to cut out the bs and to pax that they give a shit about customer service.

  11. The FA deserves to be fired no way is that proper procedure. It may even be criminal in nature with animal cruelty laws.

  12. One simple question, why didn’t the owner of the animal routinely check on the dog throughout the flight? The flight from IAD-LGA is over 2 hours, once the seatbelt sign was turned off, she could have checked on the dog at least a few times/let him out the bag/held the dog in her arms.

  13. Guessing there’s a pretty tight correlation between people who still try to defend United and people who still try to defend Trump.

  14. I would blame the airline and the flight attendant, and I agree the latter should be fired. But just for say 75%; 25% of the blame does go to the owner. Never mind she was stressed; never mind there were kids; never mind the security paranoia on US planes – if you have a dog and you travel with one, you have a responsibility. Getting kicked off the plane is highly annoying but well, so it is – was staying on board worth the dog’s terrible death, being smashed and suffocated in the dark for hours as it seems? Lucky uses the analogy of the family member – if something even vaguely similar had happened to one’s child, how would one have reacted? (Aside from that, I find the roots-of-totalitarianism mutual metaphor for and by air travel very apt.)

  15. This FA is entirely at fault. How could anyone with an IQ above 10 think this would be ok!? She needs to be immediately terminated, although that’s a long shot with the union.

    However, not sure where you get off thinking flight crews want passengers to be afraid of them. For someone whose literal job is to fly around are you afraid of flight crews? Are you terrified they’ll ask you “do you want ice?” I’m sure you wrote this in haste, but still even you should recognize that was an overreaction that makes *you* look bad. FAs aren’t wardens, they’re underpaid, overworked, humans who deal with other stressed out humans. And no, I’m not one, I just have empathy. But then again I fly in coach.

  16. Was the carrier large enough to fit under the seat? Was the pet ticketed? Why would the flight attendant need to tell them to do anything with a carrier that fit properly under the seat in front of her (or her teenage daughter!)? It seems unusual to say the least. Overhead bin space is at a premium. It shows why they need to clearly mark the bags for under seat and overhead bags. They tend to do this in other countries but it seems to be a free-for-all in the US.

  17. Lucky,

    In the final analysis, I blame the owner.

    If the FA makes an assessment that a bag is too big for under seat, then it has to go overhead.

    At that point most dog owners I know would have left the plane rather than risk their dog, especially a french bulldog (a breed known for severe breathing issues).

    Who put the dog in the overhead? The owner did.

  18. United Airlines is the most horrific in the world. At this point, nobody can save their reputation.

    Just spent all my UA miles on ANA biz roundtrip and will switch to AA or DL

  19. I too an an animal lover and this angers me to my core. The FA should not only be fired, he/she should be prosecuted for animal cruelty. That said, no matter what the punishment, it will never bring back a beloved family member. And, yes, to many of us that is exactly what our fur babies are. Family.

  20. Anyone here heard of the ‘rule of law’? Part of it means that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. We don’t know why or how the dog died, and we don’t know if the FA new there was a dog involved. What we do know is that a dog tied in what appear to be tragic circumstances. Let’s stop trying to make judgements, and let the criminal and civil law take its course. And if you won’t do that because you don’t have confidence in the USA legal system – then boy do we have a bigger problem.

  21. I’m sorry. I have nothing constructive to say here. I’m at best an American Airlines/One World frequent flyer and rarely fly United. I’m a dog lover, but also have a heart of stone. This story broke it in two. This is wrong. And the last straw. This is not the result of one flight attendant, but the result of poor management, poor training and too much pressure that a flight leaves on time. This is not what flying for any family or individual ever should be. We’ve tolerated too much poor management from United (where is Polaris?). There is no longer the choice in US airlines that we used to have. But don’t make us choose between which airline will give our pets the greatest chance of survival. Don’t make any passenger feel guilty that their on time arrival cost the life of a family friend.

    Devastating and I offer my sympathies. But I’m cautious that this story could have played out on any airline. Things need to change and the customer/family experience needs to improve across the board. America needs to move forward. Poor airline management pressures take us all a step back.

  22. Agree with you that the flight attendant didn’t follow policy and should be disciplined / fired / sued. These rules exist for a reason and we are clearly seeing the fall out now when they are not followed.

    However as a pet owner and someone who has spent time with small children, I imagine that the passenger’s judgment was compromised as her attention was divided between too many dependents: one child, an infant and dog. Apparently it was a Frenchie which is a high risk breed for flying. This has to be part of the discussion as well. Imagine had there been an emergency on the plane and they needed to evacuate. Do you think the mother would have been able to manage the dog as well?

    In my opinion, there needs to be a policy of either lap child or one pet. Not both. You call the pets family members, then logically there should a dedicated human guardian for them.

  23. Why do anyone still fly United after all they have done to passengers lately? Just leave their planes empty and let the company die. Well, there is still the stupid that brags about flying over 10 million miles on United but let him be the only one on their planes.

  24. Another Steve nailed it. If airlines and the FAA expect 100% compliance with crew member instructions on aircraft, airlines and their staff have to accept 100% of the fault when those instructions lead to injury or death of passengers (whether human or animal). The passenger followed all of United and the TSA’s rules/regulations with the animal in a carrier, and the negligent/malicious actions of the flight attendant directly contributed to the dog’s death.

    Animal cruelty charges are definitely warranted in this case, and I really hope that United has the spine to terminate this woman. Not only did she obviously not understand policies (showing that United’s staff training clearly needs some help), she was just straight up unreasonable in dealing with this customer, who obviously had a dog in her bag. I just can’t fathom the thought process this FA went through, since stowing a live animal in the overhead bin just defies common sense, regardless of how ignorant she was of policies or how poor United’s employee training may be.

  25. If flight attendants are flight safety professionals and their orders MUST BE FOLLOWED AT ALL TIMES, then they’re 100% responsible when they go off script.

  26. @2paxfly United has already admitted in a statement that the FA demanded the passenger place the dog in the bin. While I appreciate “innocent until proven guilty”, and I found this story impossible to believe at first, sadly, the guilt is now proven.

  27. One less animal in the air is a good thing.

    BTW, has anyone even confirmed that the dog was alive at ANY point during the flight? This could be a money-grab.

  28. @2paxfly

    I do know about ‘rule of law’, enough to know that this is an online message forum and not a courtroom, and as such, we are free to think and comment however we so choose.

    Funny how every time there is a controversial news story that occurs someone like you always jumps in with the holier-than-thou “we must not be so quick to judge” comment. That burden doesn’t exist on here.

  29. Lucky –
    One thing I think you and other commentators have missed is the fact that the passenger manifest would of accounted for the dog.

    Multiple times I have heard them say 112 passengers and 2 dogs or something similar at gate handoff before counts are done.

    The flight attendants defense is thus even more outrageous.

  30. FAs are abusing their power. There’s no process to voice your disagreements. The captain has final say on who flies but rarely has an interest in listening to the passenger vs. just agreeing with the crew. The system is messed up.

  31. If the FA gave the specific instruction to put the bag in the overhead bin, then the FA and the airline is responsible for the murder. To be honest when we are In the plane what are our chances of arguing with the FAs of how and where we want our bag to be when they told you where they want it to be.

  32. Investors don’t give a shit. Stock up about .8% today when Dow and S&P dropped. In fact United has rebounded a bit since the recent fiasco about overcapacity, which sent shares tumbling in one day.

    This is one flight attendant on one flight. So many judgmental and sanctimonious people on these blogs. As if United itself is pervasively bad. I only have about 200k lifetime miles with them but I’ve never once had a bag lost, never a rude/hostile customer service experience (indifferent FAs yes, but never rude and I’m always in economy), and never any really negative experience…never had that on any airline for that matter. So I’ll keep flying any major US airline, United included, that fits my budget and schedule. And don’t pretend like you won’t either if the price/budget is right for you too.

  33. Mike –

    That kind of blinkered dumbassery would make you the perfect fit for UA management. I can see excelling over there

  34. You know, with all the animal hassles that the airlines have experienced lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if they start declaring, for most of their flights, something like “this flight cannot safely carry animals, please choose a different flight or another airline”. And frankly, I wouldn’t mind if they did it, last trip I was on, one of my flights had 9 animals (all dogs I think) on it!

  35. I have to wonder if this F/A was a pmCO . They tend to be the most aggressive in my experience.

    She should be charged with animal cruelty and UA sued.


  36. I’ll disclose that I am an attorney but this is not my field. I am normally one to not jump quickly to the deep pocket. But this time, I am seeing severe liability to both United as well as the flight attendant personally. Both. Not one. United meets the definition of a common carrier.

    COMMON LAW (Common Carrier):
    A common carrier in common law countries is a person or company that transports goods or people for any person or company and that is responsible for any possible loss of the goods during transport.

    For once, I actually agree that an airline (United) is at fault. The scope of their services and affirmative duty regarding travel, as well as the place in our world as a common carrier, they are are responsible. And, the duty of care rises to a level far above that of simple negligence. I know this applies to humans. I do not think it applies to goods. But I think most courts (certainly juries) would likely apply to duty to the dog…and certainly the public view, social media, and any settlement value will side this way.

    The duty to act reasonably is the normal duty of care that applies in most situations. However, in some situations, the law imposes other duties of care. For example, common carriers (including bus drivers, train drivers, and airplane pilots) owe a particularly high duty of care to passengers.

    BUT, just my opinion, the crew member is as well. Had the dog been a human being I would put the action at negligent homicide. I agree with Lucky, sadly. I would not have assumed death or grave danger had I been on the flight. I feel horrible admitting that.

    Aside from the legal aspect, I am MAD about this one.

  37. Dan,

    Maybe the FA told the passenger to either leave or put the dog in the bin. Do you know for a fact that didn’t happen? Do you know for a fact that the passenger did not make a choice to stay, thereby risking the frenchie?

    Think a little bit before you call anyone dumb.

  38. Why is it always United (unfortunately, my main airline)?? They are the “Florida man” of airlines. And yes, I’m originally from Florida!

  39. There is no situation where the FA should have allowed, much less told the passenger to put a live animal in the overhead.

    The passenger did everything by the book. The dog was declared and paid for. The owners only fault was listening to the FA. An understandable error given what happens when you don’t follow a United FA’s instructions to the letter.

    Somebody needs to think about this more, but it isn’t me.

  40. Do you all feel so horrible when a baby duck is stuffed with food down its throat so that you can enjoy foie gras? Stop the BS. Bunch of hypocrites. Using words like “murder,” “homicide.” Most of y’all are culpable in “murder” and “homicide” of animals every day.

  41. Dan,

    Got it. Next time you put your loved ones in danger, you can tell yourself you did everything “by the book.”

    Nice thinking, man.

  42. Its simple. The FAs wants the power, but not the responsibility. The FA in question is denying knowledge that the bag has a dog, but everyone nearby heard the dog owner saying to her in the first place and she insisted it be placed in the overhead cabin.

    When the pet dies, she lies (or she suddenly has amnesia). She is unfit to be given so much power in the first place, since she doesnt want the responsibility that comes with it.

    Its the overwhelming power placed in wrong hands that killed the dog. Lucky is right to mention the point; Dr Dao’s case and this case has similarities – everyone just watches, because they know better than to challenge the FA, even if she is totally in the wrong, because of the ridiculous, unchecked power given to the FAs.

    She caused the dog’s death, and wants no responsibility of it, and cast the blame squarely on the owner (like some commenters as well – who asked you to travel with your pet on the plane?).

    These incidents will simply continue, because they are given so much power with no responsibility whatsoever, and that is recipe for abuse.

    And as for the United culture, we have to wonder why their planes are full even after what they did to Dr Dao. If that does not stop people from flying United, this incident will not either. And when everyone still flies with United, everyone is voting to allow current systems, current United culture to continue.

  43. The person who should have known better is the FA (vs a likely infrequent traveler managing a hoard of kids).

    Just think it through a bit.

  44. Dan,

    By your reasoning, if a FA told you to put your kid in the bin, you’d do it, just to be “by the book”.

    If something happened to your kid, you would then blame United.


  45. Seriously. What normally happens when somebody says no to a FA?

    The owner has some responsibility. But that’s like saying the person who doesn’t duck in time has the blame for getting shot.

  46. Dogs don’t belong in airplane cabins. For so many reasons…

    A proper pet carrier in the hold is the proper way to transport your beloved animal. Buy why are you traveling with a pet anyway?

    The insane attacks on the FA show how warped some people are – valuing pets over people.

    In America the penalty for pet cruelty is more severe than for murder. There needs to be some balance.

  47. Unless Untied is significantly different from other carriers, the regs clearly state pets must be carried in a container THAT FITS UNDER the seat. So why did this lunatic force the pup to be placed in the overhead bin?
    Also UA seemed on an upward trajectory with Oscar running the show but since Scott Kirby took over its been downhill all the way. This keeps up they are going to be dead meat in a couple of years.

  48. Personally, I never heard of a dog being wrestled into the overhead, but it’s United. so I’m sure it’s happened before. But I think they should test-fly a few canaries before they do it again.

  49. I hope the passenger brings suit against United. If one of my fur babies was killed in this manner, I’d be in extreme mental distress. I can’t even imagine the pain this poor women is suffering. I hope we find out how this is eventually resolved between the passenger and United.

  50. The FA being fired is way too lenient….jail should be the outcome here. And it’s just another example …of thousands….of these petty tyrants/martinets posing as FAs being wildly out of control. Some of them really love to lord it over the public and often pick the vulnerable for their games. Case in point. I know it’s only a minority and most of them are good/great….but the airlines are HOPELESS when it comes to getting rid of the bad apples. Six months prison.

  51. all airlines require a vet certificate from a vet with in 10 days of departure. so the idea that the dog was already sick is not likely.

  52. If United responds to this incident in the same manner that they do when pets entrusted to their care die in the cargo hold, then United will say they’re not at fault. The pet died from 1) an underlying health condition, or 2) natural causes. United almost never accepts responsibility for animal deaths. United will most likely request a necropsy of the animal. The results of such necropsies are rarely conclusive which will further benefit United’s position.

  53. Nothing excuses this from happening. That Dog should have NEVER been put in an overhead. However I have read some additional details. The dog carrier was apparently sticking out in the aisle, which would have created a safety hazard. But still.
    United, to their credit, has been reacting swiftly to this. They have refunded the ticket cost, said they will compensate for the lost dog and pay for a necropsy. They’ve also been in touch with other passengers on the aircraft.
    As a dog lover, this just breaks my heart. The pain of losing your pet is hard enough, without it being this sudden.

  54. United continues to support my decision to cancel all of our family’s UAL accounts (done after the doctor dragging)

  55. NBC reported that United is paying for a necropsy on the dog. I’m sure we will be hearing more.

  56. I blame both the owner AND the FA. I have read that the dog was crying during the flight, and the owner never checked on it! Why would anyone put a living creature (dog/child) up in a storage bin? It is a rhetorical question now, but as a pet owner, you have a responsibility of taking care of it, because it cannot take care of itself while locked in a carrier. If the stress of traveling is too much, and I agree it does take a toll on you, then adding an animal to your travel plans is a responsibility the owner must accept. It is the responsibility of the FA to make sure all ITEMS (not animals) are stowed under the seat or in the overhead bin. The FA was responsible for stowing one of the other items in the overhead bin, NOT the animal! Without knowing all the facts, I’m imagining there were other items the owner could have stowed above. Maybe her laptop, backpack or any other carry-on items, could have been placed above. The tragedy and end result are still the same. So unfortunate for a defenseless animal.

  57. The passenger should refuse the necropsy. The results are almost always inconclusive which could conceivably get United off the hook. At the very least the passenger needs to consult with an attorney before authorizing the necropsy.

  58. There is almost (and quiet rightfully) more outrage when a pet is harmed than a human. This story needs to be blown up and United needs to be given the hardest kick they’ve ever received.

  59. Thanks for mentioning the AFA and their part in all this. I do think they bear at least equal responsibility as the corporate parent, yet the corporate parent receives virtually most if not all of the public’s ire.

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame an entire corporate culture on one flight attendant’s negligence, though I agree that United seems to have more than it’s fair share of pet-related issues (as of late).

    Very sorry to hear about the dog, as I am a dog person as well.

  60. Overall this is a horrible situation, and as a dog lover and owner I can’t sympathize with the passenger enough. With that said blame on both parties involved. Fa for not being smart enough to use common sense, pet owner for not being smart enough to use some common sense. Also, did the woman have another bag she was trying to put under her seat, if not why didn’t the pet carrier fit? Nobody has answered that.

  61. Thank you for staying on top of this. I hope mainstream media picks it up. Makes me incredibly sad – a helpless creature that will love you unconditionally was killed by stupidity and a callous disregard for the customer. Speaks volumes about United, their policies, training, and employees.

  62. Another day, another example of how crappy our airlines are becoming in an era of limited, if any, meaningful competition (aka oligopoly), obscene greed resulting from incredible shareholder and management indifference, callousness and arrogance.

    Our airlines continue to get worse and worse with each passing year; and yet, just like those passengers who sat in silence while this poor dog suffered a cruel and inhumane death, far too many accept things as they are instead of speaking up and demanding that both humans, and our pets, be treated better by these greedy and arrogant jerks who are entrusted with protecting our, and our pets health and well being, but insist we fly in seats so small, in rows so narrow, and use bathrooms so small, that they, like Doug Parker of American, don’t even bother to fly themselves because they know how horrible the product is.

    Here’s hoping the flight attendant responsible for this dog’s death is fired, or even prosecuted for animal cruelty for their shameful, despicable, and even criminal act.

    And that the passenger who lost their dog to this negligence hires a talented lawyer who will also hold the airline accountable for something that never should’ve happened in the first place.

  63. And the dog is the biggest loser in this debacle. All the finger pointing doesn’t bring it back , however we must see a clearer policy from all Airlines that allow animals on board to ensure their future safety and wellbeing.

  64. My daughter recently flew from North Dakota to Florida with our 80 pound family dog. I called and talked to the boarding steward in North Dakota. He assured me that all paper work was taken care of and he had inspected her kennel. When my daughter got on the plane she heard the dog when she sniffed my daughter. It turned out they boarded her to the pilots area as they did not feel that she would be safe in baggage on that particular style plane. When she landed in Atlanta they made the dog available to be walked and fed. Finally nine hours later they landed in Florida and two young men walked lady out and she thanked them by wagging her tail. Believe me they would have not gotten this thank you if she had been upset. That was Delta. I flew Delta for years when I worked and if they are available I would not trust my daughter or their pets to another airline. Thank you Delta for being their for my family.
    I am so very sorry for the family that lost their pet.

  65. DAN SAYS “Guessing there’s a pretty tight correlation between people who still try to defend United and people who still try to defend Trump.”

    Once again a post by a brainless bot which has nothing to do with the subject at hand. Please take your opinion elsewhere DAN. This is not a political forum.

  66. Another story for you to take it against UNITED! It´s not the f/a´s fault, it´s completely the owners fault: PERIOD! The owner clearly had CHOICES, and unfortuntaley she took the wrong ones! (I am sorry about the dog, though)

  67. Dogs should not be allowed in the cabin. Period. Not everybody loves them, I sure do not.
    If people must travel by air with their pets, they ought to travel in the hold, with the airline responsible for their well being, and the owners charged no small amount for the extra work and care.

  68. The pet owner should launch a civil action against the FA primarily, and UA as well, for aggravated animal cruelty occasioning death.
    It’s one thing to have the owner check on the dog during flight given it was wimpering, but how could things have been improved short of removing it from the o/h bin for the rest of the flight? Would the responsible FA or her superior have relented and made other humane arrangements? Who knows, this was not tested.

  69. I feel like people are more concerned with defending/attacking who they think are right/wrong than doing something about it.

    Just don’t fly United.

    I also laugh at those that talk about how airlines SHOULD accept 100% fault because they ask for passengers’ 100% compliance. You’re asking the same businesses that can take 2-3 weeks to cancel to your ticket, while asking you to cancel within 24hr or you’re screwed, to give a crap about you.

    They don’t. They care about bottom line. Guess what? The stock was up earlier this morning, too (not so sure now).

    I have 4 dogs, I would have got off the plane. That’s just me. You would have done something else. That’s you. This lady, for whatever reason, did what she did. A dog’s dead and none of this back and forth banter will change that. Just don’t fly United.

  70. How dare you try to imply that the other passengers on the plane should have some responsibility to intervene in this doggie death. Your argument gets further muddied when you compare this doggie death to the events of Dr Dao being dragged off a plane (You’re comparing apples to oranges on that one). I, as a passenger, am NOT going to intervene into the doggie situation if the owner is not willing to take a firmer stand and refuse to put her dog in the overhead. Why would I risk being kicked off a plane if the owner is not willing? If this was a baby (for instance) being put in an overhead or some other egregious act then I would be will to take some risks as a by-stander. But don’t imply that other passengers should stick out their necks just because you (Lucky) are an avid dog owner and think everyone else should evaluate this situation the same as you. But yes I feel United should have some responsibility in this situation – but don’t imply (or state) that other passengers were neglectful for not intervening.

  71. I have to disagree. I understand you’re thinking but I feel this is a major issue with the world right now – blame someone else, its not my fault…

    The person bringing the dog on has to be aware of what she is doing. Common sense should tell her you don’t put a dog in a soft mesh container in the overhead bin. She should have said something and if the sky waiter/waitress fought her she should have fought back …until she got kicked off the flight …or was the flight more important than the dogs life? Where were the other passengers? Someone say something, if not to the employee than to the lady. How come the lady never checked on the dog? Dumb. I’m not arguing the employee has no blame as she is just as much to blame as everyone else …but stop trying to just put the blame on them.

    I feel sorry for the dog but the responsibility ultimately lies with the person who brought the dog on the flight.

  72. This story makes me want to cry. What is wrong with this airline? Why is it so hard for them to provide basic levels of respect for their customers? As a 1K member, I am very upset by this

  73. @Another Steve (1st reply post) wrote ” If airlines are going to demand that passengers follow crew member instructions at all times, and threaten criminal prosecution for anyone who does not follow instructions, they should be prepared to be 100% responsible when those directions result in injury, death, property damage or animal cruelty.”

    As much as I don’t like a dog dying, I disagree. People tell others to do things all the time but don’t assume 100% responsibility. If the instructions were given in good faith and are reasonable instructions, that’s the end of it.

    I have kept fragile things overhead many times. Things do not shift around much.

    I suspect the dog got a heart attack from fright, not suffocation. If the passenger didn’t have too much luggage, she could have taken the dog down after take-off.

    In terms of law, I think the dog is property so this is a case of damaged carry on baggage. In terms of humanity, I don’t think the passenger should get nothing but giving her $500,000 or a million is way too much.

  74. I would be interested if it were fellow passengers who were complaining about the dog.

    The blogs have created such an anti-dog hysteria lately with their screes on emotional support pets, I wouldn’t be surprised if the other passengers started this with a complaint.

    Get over it. Small dogs are part of many American families and families fly together. We don’t think of them as animals to eat here. I’ve been on flights with dogs 100 times and they make the flight less stressful. They’re enjoyable in the waiting areas too.

  75. Looked up United’s liability is up to $3,500. Dogs are often not that expensive.

    I am quite shocked that the passenger did not check on the dog during the flight. That is bad. A series of errors, it seems.

  76. “Do you all feel so horrible when a baby duck is stuffed with food down its throat so that you can enjoy foie gras?”

    This article was about a dog that died in an overhead bin, not foie gras. It wasn’t about the holocaust either. Or abortion. It was about a dog that died in an overhead bin.

    Didd you READ THE FUCKING [email protected]!!!!!!!!1111!!!!!!????????????????????? DAMN their are SO MADNY DUMB ASSHOLES HERE!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. @Happypoppeye – fully agree

    As much as the flight attendant is to blame, what about the PAX who brought the poor doggie on the flight? Wasn’t also she responsible for his well being?
    For those saying this dog, a french bulldog, should be put in cargo – nope, he couldn’t. French bulldogs are brachycephalic breeds–flat nosed dogs–and those breeds are banned from flying on majority commercial airlines underneath the plane.
    With this in mind – could one of the reason the poor doggie didn’t survive be also the type of bread in combination with all the nasty stuff what could have happened while locked in the overhead bin.
    So many things to consider here but certainly would look at 2 parties here – the FA and PAX…


    @Mark G – agree:

    Agree with you that the flight attendant didn’t follow policy and should be disciplined / fired / sued. These rules exist for a reason and we are clearly seeing the fall out now when they are not followed.

    However as a pet owner and someone who has spent time with small children, I imagine that the passenger’s judgment was compromised as her attention was divided between too many dependents: one child, an infant and dog. Apparently it was a Frenchie which is a high risk breed for flying. This has to be part of the discussion as well. Imagine had there been an emergency on the plane and they needed to evacuate. Do you think the mother would have been able to manage the dog as well?

    In my opinion, there needs to be a policy of either lap child or one pet. Not both. You call the pets family members, then logically there should a dedicated human guardian for them.

  78. Depending on what else was in the overhead bin and how it was positioned, its very easy to see how the dog could have been crushed or had its neck broken by bags moving around. Those carriers offer little to no protection from blunt trauma (they aren’t designed to protect the dog, they are designed to keep the dog from getting out in a relatively comfortable fashion, ALSO, they are typically designed to meet airline requirements for underseat storage). That’s just one of many ways the dog could have died up there. Even if the overhead bin was relatively empty, the dog could have slid around during takeoff or landing and hit one of the walls of the bin hard enough to cause serious injury.

    It blows my mind that the FA thought that it was acceptable to put a living being in an overhead bin. The only situation where storing the dog under the seat wouldn’t be acceptable would be during takeoff and landing if the passenger were seated in an exit row or bulkhead (I’ve seen that happen before and the FAs either get someone to switch seats or instruct the dog owner to hold their dog for takeoff/landing).

  79. Maybe just for takeoff and landing. As soon as they were airborne wouldn’t they have immediately checked on the dog ?

  80. Aside from trained, certified service animals, pets do not belong in aircraft cabins. When owners are travelling, pets are better served remaining at home in the care of people providing regular attention to them, and other travelers do not have to deal with luggage juggling, potential allergens, and other unnecessary considerations on top of the normal hassles of contemporary travel.

  81. Also, to all those blaming the passenger for letting the FA put the bag up in the overhead, I get it, but I can also see how she was overwhelmed and didn’t want to fight. At the end of the day, if there was an issue with putting the carrier under the seat or the FA perceived there to be one, the only solution should have been to kick the passenger off the flight. Putting the dog in the overhead bin should have never been an option. The only safe place for an animal to fly is either in the luggage compartment or under the seat (and in this case, as others have noted, the dog was a French Bulldog, which, due to their flat noses have breathing issues and can’t be safely transported in the hold). If the FA really believed that the dog could not go under the seat, she shouldn’t have let the dog fly at all. The FA shouldn’t have even given the passenger the option of putting the dog in the overhead.

  82. Kyle mentioned that United is not caring for it’s customers. Since when are dogs, rabbits, pigs, peacocks, rats, cats or any other animal a customer? The woman (Customer) failed to check on her belongings. That is it.
    When are Airlines and Americans going to wake up and realize that just because the family wants to bring Fido or Alley the cat on vacation with them…it is not a necessity.
    Emotional support….hogwash! Can a person go to the bathroom without their animal, can someone go to work without their animal ? How could you leave the house knowing that foo foo will be alone? For over 50 years all animals go underneath in the cargo hold….why not now? If you want to have your pet rat, pig, dog, owl, etc., with you on vacation then pay the money and you’re own risk that the animal may not make it alive in the cargo hold. Other people’s rats, cats, squirrels, etc. have no place in an airplane especially with pax. Unless you own the airplane it is not your property ! If your animal sleeps with you..fine, it’s your business. But your animal does not need to be near my child or my person.

  83. Read in another blog that United lost ~57 live animals on-board in 2017.

    Go United!! Make that a consistent 100% performance on all flights and ESA cheer leading morons would find a way to leave them at home.

    At-least, my allergies would go away on flight………………..

  84. OK I worked for UAL in customer service many years ago. There is plenty of blame all on the airline. First there is no air flow at all in overhead. I get what people are thinking about the animal being crushed, but no the lack of air and heat is the problem. Same as locking a dog in a car with windows up. Second this whole squeeze every penny is ridiculous. You are a travel company for goodness sake. It used to be 2 70 pound checked bags per ticked customer plus 2 carry on free. I didn’t think it was horrible eve when they dropped it to 1 at 50 pounds and a single carry on. But charging for the 1st. People are carrying anything and everything they can and I’m sure this family was carrying everything they could get away with and those seats are so small now getting and animal comfortable under it with your feet is just hard. So the flight attendent reacted and was rushed and just plain wasn’t thinking a horrible mistake and yes I would go as far as likely deserved fired. But being union it’s almost impossible. Having said that I bet this causes Millions lost revenue and what not. And the problem started long ago.

  85. @D3KingAmerican – it certainly would be a normal thing to do, to check on my pet after take off (if i was forced to put it up in the overhead bin).

    so sad this one.

    this lady was also flying with a child and a baby. was she too busy to look after her children that she didn’t have the time to check on the dog. or the lady assumed he is OK? which i cannot believe. from the reports so far it looks as if the dog was making noises during the flight. so why would the owner not check on her pet?

    so many questions here. only the passenger and flight attendant are able to answer, as to What exactly they thought and Why they acted the way they did.

  86. According to WaPo, it was a three month old puppy. The passenger did protest but the FA told her the dog would be safe in the overhead bin.

  87. Does it only seem like that all those stories only happen with US airlines? Can you imagine this to happen with Singapore, Quantas, SWISS or any other airline? Maybe we don’t hear those stories but something seems so wrong with the service attitude (or lack of!) of the American carriers.

  88. @Alain, on NONE of the airlines you mentioned in your comment would a non-service animal be permitted in the cabin under any circumstances.

  89. @Alain: No other self respecting airlines around the world allow the pets inside aircraft where humans travel. Only Americans and their crack pot ESA bull manure !!!!

  90. United airlines was a microcosm of America—angry, militant, aggressive, and self absorbed. 400years+ of this; well documented

  91. @Alain. It’s Qantas, not Quantas, and from my own experience pets are handled very appropriately in a special part of the hold, not the cabin. Same for Virgin Australia.

  92. Ouch @ Helena R ! So we can agree that you or my pet would not wish to sit next to each other. And while we are at it, I would not care to sit next to you either, grumpy old cow!

  93. From what I read, the passenger paid the $150 fee to take the dog on-board the plane.

    Also the passenger had an infant with her, as a lap child. There’s a decent chance the child fell asleep in her lap during takeoff and slept the whole time, making it difficult for the mother to get up and check on the dog.

    Besides, if the FA indicated it’s safe to put a dog in the overhead bin, why should the passenger question it? The FA works all day on an airplane, while the pax does not. I fly quite often and never considered that the overhead bin doesn’t have sufficient airflow.

  94. 2paxfly that’s typical of most news stories. It doesn’t make it right but thats shows how fucked up we are when it really matters.
    50 humans killed 2 posts , 1 dead dog100 plus posts.

  95. The dog has a portable container,
    You oay for the dog to fly,
    It goes under your seat,

    I have flown with my dog,

    Never would I put it in an overhead compartment..

  96. I blame both the pet owner and United Airlines. If United Airlines told me to jump out of the plane at 10,000 feet and that it was safe would I do it? NO! The lady could of gotten off the plane and found alternate travel arrangements and why did not the woman who was on the plane for 3 hours not check on the dog? A dog can’t survive in an overhead bin due to lack of oxygen nor are the bins pressurized. If the women was overwhelmed with kids why did she bring her dog? the stupidity of it all makes my blood boil.

  97. I’m just sad for everyone involved. Mostly the dog, but if I were the overwhelmed owner who made a bad decision not checking on the dog (often), asssuming I followed directions to begin with (which I doubt I would have, but who knows the circumstances), I would be absolutely heartbroken and regretful. We’ve all made bad calls. And if I were the FA, I’d be heartbroken that my bad decision resulted in this. This was ignorance – I doubt it was bad intentions. Prayers to all involved. I hope this never happens again. Sitting by my 13 year old “baby” Chihuahua as I write this. She owns my heart. ❤️❤️

  98. People get ANGRY when dogs are mistreated.

    Oscar, you can’t “de nada” your way out of this one. You are not a leader.

  99. Really sad that so many suggest that the FA be fired. No one knows what happened. I think it would be a better story if it was suggested that the incident is under investigation. I’ll bet there is more to this than most of the dog lovers, United haters are willing to listen to. It might be that it was a case of if it doesn’t fit under the seat, it goes in the overhead, or get off and let the rest of us fly dog free.

  100. Tragic accident. I don’t feel like the flight attendant should be punished or disciplined though. She made a mistake and I highly doubt she thought she was putting the dog in any danger. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I don’t think this was a lapse in judgment or indicative of her ability to do her job well. I’d hate for anyone to be fired or disciplined for making a decision that resulted in an outcome they could not have foreseen.

  101. Lesson learned: leave your mangy dogs at home. Flying and driving.
    Great, I’ll be flying United if all the pet owners are going to boycott them.

  102. In the 90s united was a great airline
    I have fond memories
    Today Their culture and anti customer behavior is reflected in almost all aspects of the way they run their business
    Profits and hostility over a warm caring supportive culture
    Dragging passengers off planes murdering pets and poor saver availability
    Make it an airline to avoid for so many reasons
    United is to blame but they won’t change until customers vote with their wallets and someone from Alaska Airlines or Southwest can teach or replace those that lack empathy passion and joy
    Sad state of affairs

  103. The FA needs to be fired, this is animal cruelty clearly. However the puppy’s owner and the “sheep” on board the UAL flight are partially responsible. I know if I had heard this puppy crying in an airless overhead bin, I would have taken it out. What would the FA do? Throw me out at 30,000 ft? I quite flying UAL years ago, urge others not to fly UAL..there are better airlines out there…Delta, Alaska, Southwest etc. Also don’t fly animals, use ground transport. I’ve transported my cats this way..much easier than flying for the cats, takes more time and they arrive less stressed.

  104. Lucky, I couldn’t agree with you more. I hope the FA is not only fired but forced to spend a flight in a locked in an overhead compartment in a mesh bag from IAH to NYC and see how he/she fares. I’m outraged both that a pet owner would allow this and that a heartless, POS employee of United could allow such a thing. It’s a total reflection of the toxic culture that Oscar and that smug prick, Scott Kirby engender at their airline. My last flight ever with UA was from SYD-LAX in F – up there with your experience from Luanda – GRU. Never again!

  105. Would you put an infant up in the overhead bin? Of course not! There are no visible holes, no air conditioning vents. It should be no surprise this puppy suffocated, especially a short-nosed breed. I have travelled with two animals before and the airline made accommodations after realizing my already checked and sedated cat could not go in cargo so they moved me to first class and my second cat sat with my Mom in coach (only one animal per section per flight). This passenger shouldn’t have had seat where approved carrier couldn’t be before take-off (United’s fault) and the attendant should’ve asked passengers if anyone was willing to switch or have the dog near them. Just appalling and I do think criminal charges for animal cruelty should be brought against attendant.

  106. Just as there are people who think think the pet owner is at fault, there are people who thinks Dr Dao is at fault. Blaming the victim is not that unpopular.

    Perhaps these people who blamed the victim, felt she and her daughter and baby in hand should have pushed back to the point they get removed and potentially become another Dr Dao case, or worse be charged due to accusations from FA for flight disturbances from non-compliance. (Shouldnt travels be safe and simple?)

    The very truth here is this, the huge powers given to FAs, meant they do not need to care what you say or think, and they have a huge button to press that can easily land you in deep shit, and many use that button irresponsibly. Happens that United has a culture and history for them to abuse those powers more regularly.

    If the FAs are required to be responsible and listen, and cannot abuse the powers at their whims and fancies, then this would not have happened. Go ahead and blame the victim; Karma is a bitch, if it happens to you next, you will know how it feels.

  107. My family and I shared our life with a wonderful flat-coated retriever who eventually succumbed to age at 18 years. We traveled with him to Austria, Malta, Israel, India, USA, and Syria. After considerable research, we found the care and compassion provided to Lucky by Air France and Lufthansa was unmatched. We never traveled with Lucky on any other airline.

    As an animal lover and a UA Global Services Member, I certainly hope UA repairs the lack in the training provided to their staff. I cannot blame the FA personally. There is a problem with the system and it needs fixing from the root.

  108. FA’s can behave like asses because their asses are protected by the union. This FA will still be flying no doubt.

  109. LOL @ them getting fired. I just hope 4chan finds out their name, address, etc and posts it online so they’re exposed and can’t work or be seen in public again.

    You going to get on a flight with that flight attendant once you see a picture of them?

  110. ENOUGH! This corporation has demonstrated its indifference to the safety of passengers, human and other, too many times. I’m cancelling my united credit card and will never again give them my business. I encourage everyone on this site should do the same .

  111. Why is barely anyone talking about the fact that the dog was not checked on during the flight. Yes, we’re sheep and most of the people that witnessed this flight attendant demanding the dog be placed in the overhead bin didn’t step in and try and stop it, but why did nobody, including the owner, think to check on the dog periodically throughout the flight?! THIS IS THE WEIRDEST STORY EVER.

  112. The dog was a French bull dog, which should never have been on a plane in the first place. They have respiratory issues and have trouble breathing even on the ground. Very poor judgement from the dogs owner. Easy to blame united but ultimately she has to take responsibility for her family (which the dog is very much a part of). Would she he put her baby in the overhead bin if the flight attendant had insisted?

  113. There is something fundamentally wrong with United. It starts at the top and goes all of way down. It is just a question of time before they kill a plane load of people.

  114. People postulating that possibly the dog died as a result of a heart attack is ridiculous. Yeah a small dog in a pet carrier who was shoved into an overhead bin demanded by a flight attendant just happened to have a heart attack at that time. Please…

    The flight attendant, and UA, are 100% to blame. This flight attendant should be criminally prosecuted to the full extent of the law. At best it’s criminal negligence, at worst it’s purposeful animal cruelty.

  115. Very simple solution, allow Emirates, Qatar or anyone else really to run unlimited domestic flights. When there’s no competition quality plummets. Toyota surely taught Ford, GM and Chrysler a lesson.
    For all those who say it will destroy American jobs, it won’t, as airlines won’t deadhead crew from oversees to run domestic sectors.

  116. You know if Anakin had just listened to Obi-Wan, none of that crap would have went down.

    ….wait, where am I again? I had just finished reading 87 seemingly repetitive comments and then I don’t know what happened. Must’ve blacked out.

  117. Another Steve is right.
    The FA knew it was a dog so they need to go—now! The notion that any living being can go in the bins during a flight is lunacy. This FA’s judgement is warped and UA cannot count in them in a situation where lives are at stake.

  118. Didn’t we stop slavery ? Keeping of dogs, especially in environments they neither evolved for nor were designed for their comfort, is cruel. Sure the airline is at fault, but if you step on a plane with any kind of alternate species in tow and you’re asking of complications. It’s just one of many forms of reprehensible speciesism that we seem to accept as normal, consumption of the flesh of purposefully bred and murdered sentient species being another.

  119. I live in Australia. In my former airline and travel industry career I travelled a lot. The worst flights (service, airports, boarding, lounges, seats, etc … even in the premium cabins) … almost always within the USA. I’ve met highly professional flight attendants, and quite a few who I’d happily push down the stairs … (not actually of course .. it’s against the law).
    The death of this puppy is beyond all understanding.
    What a vicious thing to do to a domestic pet.
    I am the last person to advocate ‘lawyering up’ … however, in this instance … I, myself, would have a serious and very public suit with United. Utterly, utterly sad and appalling.

  120. United airlines just locked their Twitter account. Lol. There is a black padlock icon next to their Twitter account name.

  121. @Endre – must have been an intern playing around. United’s twitter is no longer showing the padlock 😉

  122. So, just to be clear, it’s unlikely the dog suffocated because of lack of oxygen. There’s air in the overhead bin. There are two big issues flying with dogs: temperature regulation and stress. Both of these can cause respiratory difficulties (or heart failure). If the dog is at your feet (per regulations), two things happen: the dog sees you and is calmed by your presence and you can see the dog and react. There’s not much a necropsy will prove.

  123. I wonder if Kirby’s push to get every plane to push back on time every time played a role here. Instead of solving the problem but finding the passenger a seat that would better accommodate the under seat carrier, the quick thing to do was to just put the carrier in the overhead. Depending on the plane, the IFE and whether the seat was an aisle, a middle or a window—there can be real differences in the under seat stowage space. Might have taking a few minutes to find the passenger with dog s new seat avoided the situation— but that takes too long and might endanger the onetime pushback. Wild speculation here but why else would a regulation sized carrier not fit under?

  124. Nothing will happen to the moron flight attendant. The union will make damn sure of that. United will write a check and in their tiny little reptilian mind that will be satisfaction for the family. I once flew United and was stranded in New Zealand for reasons that United kept a secret. Never fly United. They are hopeless, and remember, fish rot from the head down.

  125. Aside from
    The fact that it is cruel and unsafe, This is specifically on United’s website. It is well known that small pets allowed on the plane for travel fly UNDER THE SEAT IN FRONT OF THE PASSENGER. The deviation from policy by the flight attendant (with irreparable consequences) calls for immediate termination.

  126. An unfortunate tragic case. Condolences to the family of the pet. I assume their dog bag was too big to fit under the seat, and like many have said, if it can’t fit under the seat, then it goes in the overhead. The FA was just doing their job by ensuring the safety of the cabin, and I assume they routinely asked for the bag to go in the overhead, as they would have done hundreds of times with other bags. In future, I’m sure there will be different procedures for dealing with animals, but I don’t think the FA couldn’t foresee that the dog would die from being kept in the overhead compartment. That was the only option for the bag they could think of.

  127. @Pete
    @ESA Bull Manures & Morons

    regarding other airlines not allowing pets in cabin:

    You guys have no idea what you’re talking about! Why do you state something as a given fact you hardly know anything about it?

    Lufthansa has similar rules, didn’t find the english version

    for all others interested in travelling with a pet:

  128. I posted this on the earlier story about this, but I think it bears repeating:

    Here’s from United’s own self-reported statistics:
    2017 Animal incidents:

    United Airlines: 18 deaths, 13 injured, 31 total incidents out of 138,178 pets transported.

    ALL OTHER AIRLINES COMBINED: 6 deaths, 2 injured. out of 368,816 pets transported.

    source: https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/resources/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/304371/2018februaryatcr_0.pdf

    This is NOT a simple accident or just one rogue FA. It’s a sign of bigger organizational problems. Management only gives a rip about their own salary & bonuses, and to hell with the employees and passengers.

    If anything, this is where the regulators really need to start discussing breaking up the oligopoly which exists. Every organization has a natural, healthy size. Once they get above that size, things start to go downhill for all parties involved.

    The other issue we have is that in US law, corporations can’t be held criminally responsible. You can’t arrest a corporation; you must arrest a person. Employees of large corporations can defer blame by claiming they were “following corporate policy” and the criminal charges magically go away.

    As to how to make this stop? STOP FLYING UNITED, DAMNIT! If you say you hate the way they operate, yet fly them because they have the cheapest flight when other options exist, YOU ARE A WHORE. You’re trading your beliefs for money. I’ve not flown United in 8+ years. My company hasn’t put anyone on a United flight in at least 5, possibly more years. Vote with your dollars. After all, if you keep supporting United, you’re supporting this crap.

  129. One question haunts me…Why did the owner not get up to check up on the dog? Agreed that what the FA did was wrong, but a lot of the blame is on the owner.

  130. People…. She wasn’t allow to get out of her seat due to turbulence during the whole 4 hour flight. The dog owner said the dog was barking and barking but no flight attendant came to check on him for her.

    “While we were flying, the dog started barking and barking and there was no flight attendants coming. We couldn’t stand up because there was a lot of turbulence so we weren’t allowed to,” Sophia Ceballos, speaking on behalf of her mother, Catalina Robledo, told ABC 13.
    Ceballos said that attempts to inform the flight attendant of the severity of the situation during the four-hour flight from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport to New York’s LaGuardia Airport were unsuccessful.

    Don’t blame the dog owner when you don’t know all the facts. The are multiple corroborating witnesses. This was a tragedy. How much of an idiot can that flight attendant be? Now she is trying to save her own ass, saying she didn’t know there was a dog in there! Really? Multiple people witnessed that she acknowledge there was a dog in there and everyone can here the distressed barking. What a shame! I️ blame the stupid flight attendant and United Arlines. They are one of the worst airlines to fly with pets.

    Check out the link for more info about the situation.


  131. May I suggest that everybody contact United airlines directly over this Horrendous incident of murdering a dog.
    This airline doesn’t deserve to be in the skies. Any passengers or animals! They need to fire the stewardess and anyone else involved in this, and totally clean up their act because they shouldn’t be flying anybody. Blogs are great go directly to United Airlines let them know how you feel, thank you.

  132. The flight crew’s word is law on the plane. United has threatened parents with jail and foster care for their kids (Hawaii incident) and put a paying passenger in the hospital (Dr. Dao) and these examples are just the two most egregious incidents to make the news.

    Flight Attendants are responsible for SAFETY. This incident, like the Hawaii one where the attendant insisted that a child over 2 sit on a parent’s lap instead of in a purchased seat for a 7 hour flight, is an example of United’s total disregard for the safety and welfare of their passengers.

    Unless the FAA wakes up to safety issues and goes after United or passengers start to deplane en masse when there is an incident, this will continue. The only improvement United has made is that CEO Munoz did not get to take the lead and blame this incident on the passenger.

  133. I am so disgusted with United in every possible way, but that an innocent little dog is dead is beyond depressing and infuriating. I kind of hope the FA’s name and address get leaked because I blame her for every piece of this, and I want her to be afraid like that helpless animal was afraid when she murdered it with her auhoritarian behavior.
    Honestly, it sounds like the passenger did not speak enough english to fight over it, and we all know what our government is doing to people who are immigrants. It sounds like she intimidated the woman, who had her hands full in every way.
    I wish the people around would have spoken up more, but it is not their fault. Now I bet people start policing the FA’s like crazy, as we have conclusively proven that they have no one’s interest or safety in mind as a rule.
    She needs to be tried for animal cruelty and do jail time. Or maybe we can shove her in the overhead and see how she fares.

  134. I would think that if a heavier item in the overhead happened to shift and “crush” or imply “pressure” on the dog to the point where it was suffering from breathing, the dog would have yelped in fright or pain, unless it was such a sudden impact that the poor animal was knocked out cold. The poor dog likely suffered from stress and perhaps passed away as a result, or perhaps from heat exhaustion. There is no chance it would have starved from a lack of oxygen, as there are gaps between the frame and the overhead door.

  135. I love animals, but they don’t belong in the airplane passenger cabin. If you want to take your pet with you when you travel, then drive, don’t bring your pet on the plane.

  136. Do we know if the FA was just passing through the cabin and told them “That needs to go in a bin”, had no idea it was a dog, and then the passenger puts the dog in the bin? If the passenger said “It is a dog it needs to stay here” and the FA still said put it in the bin, or physically put the dog in the bin themselves then the FA is at fault.

    The whole no one checked on the dog the whole flight just doesn’t seem right if it kept barking. It was a long flight, I don’t believe that “we were’t allowed to get up”, that is BS, even in turbulence people get up to go to the bathroom after a half hour in the air.

    I have a feeling there is a lot more to this story, and a lot of it falls on an owner who didn’t think putting their dog in the bin was a problem.

    The rush to judgement from all the animal lovers here is a bit dramatic. If the dog died because it has anxiety and couldn’t breath under the seat I am sure the family would be blaming United as well.

  137. I was wondering where the passenger was seated. Was she in the front row where there’s no where to store your stuff during take-off and the attendant expected the dog to go overhead for that, but then come out later? That the only reason I can see for a flight attendant to insist the dog go overhead. If reports are true that the dog was crying, why didn’t someone open the bin and check to see if the dog was ok? I’m in agreement that United is 100% responsible. As has been said, they insist that we follow their instructions without question and we’ve all seen what happens when someone doesn’t. No one wants to be kicked off a flight or arrested upon arrival. Whatever the passengers could have done differently or whatever miscommunication there was in no way mitigates their liability here. They really do need to fire this attendant and make clear that “safety of their passengers” includes the animals brought on board. I avoid United because I think their food and service is sub-par, but this is just another reason to look elsewhere.

  138. Flight attendant was told multiple times there was a dog in the carrier as stated by the owners and witnesses. She’s lying. Or she just plain refused to listen to the passengers when they told her repeatedly there was a dog in the carrier.

    Either way the flight attendant should lose her job over this. No if, ands, or buts.

  139. i would not have let this happen if i was on the flight..i am concerned no other passengers aided to convince the attendant this was totally wrong and would lead to its death..common sense has left our society i am afraid..my confidence in flight atttendance intelligence, training , common sense is around -1…they are slightly above the average government worker…

  140. United updated response does not indicate any serious consequences to the FA. Says FA did not hear and they will begin issuing bright coloured tags for cabin pet carriers.

  141. Listening to passengers is no longer a required skill for cabin crew. As to who is responsible, the captain is responsible for everything on the flight.

  142. This United Airline incident is dispicable to say the least! Many are to blame here, the attendant for starters for likely being on a power fit making the owner place the pup in the overhead bin! No precedent or protocol for placing a live animal in the overhead bin and I have flown many times with my pets and never encountered such lunacy. This is obvious case of animal abuse/cruelty -United Airlines murderers and monsters! You are so wrong and Justice needs to prevail here! UNITED AIRLINES NOT MY CHOICE, I DO NOT CARE HOW CHEAP YOUR FLIGHTS MAY BE!!! United Airlines, I hope your nightmare is just beginning!

  143. I am sick of people taking advantage of the pet policy on planes. This women stuck her dog in a carry on because she didn’t want to pay the $100. fee.(which is happening more and more). She had no room to place the dog under her seat because she had so much stuff. I couldn’t understand the woman at all when she was on the Tv so why would the stewardess! Her daughter had to translate for her. Stewards and stewardesses are getting bit by dogs. We had a dog on our flight the other night that was totally unruly and barked from Tampa to Hartford. What fun! Give me a break . Air travel is bad enough without adding pets to the equation.

  144. I travel with my dog in a carrier on planes and it’s always been fine. The couple times I had to was because I had to relocate to move and guess who I worked for? An airline! I didn’t have a car and didn’t need one in the new city I was moving to so thats why I didn’t drive, but I took my dog to the vet and they said it was perfectly fine. Also, as a former flight attendant, I have seen plenty of dogs on planes and they are fine too.
    This really is a tradgedy, but I’ve flown with some of the dumbest flight attendants out there and can’t even see them knowingly put a dog in an overhead bin. I’m positive the flight attendant didn’t understand the lady and didn’t see the dog in the bag. Flight attendants rarely put bags up for people because workers comp doesn’t cover them if they get an injury from putting them up because technically you are not supposed to and if this fa didn’t take the time to try and decipher what this lady was saying then she definitely wasn’t the type to put up a dog for a person. I can tell you she probably wasn’t listening because on any given day you’ll have 20 passengers give you a thousand different excuses as to why their bag is special and can’t be up there. It is really dumb of the flight attendant not to have said, you can take the bag out during flight. That over sized baggage under the seat rule only applies to take off and landing and the fa should have also told them to take out anything important and then they would have seen that it was the damn dog. This is exactly why I don’t work in that industry anymore. The senior people become bitter from flying too long and knowing they can’t get fired and the passengers aren’t used to having rules in normal life and fight you on every little thing and it makes flight attendants not want to be patient and give good customer service and it makes the customers either become jerks over things the airline can’t control or become so compliant they don’t use common sense.

  145. @jeff schilling – Your legal analysis is borderline scary to me. FML. Did you go to law school in Wisconsin or do you practice in Louisiana (a lawyer would recognize the significance of those questions)?

    Dogs are chattel, although ironically enough, Illinois (UA HQ) is one of the only states flirting with recognizing dogs as something more vis a vis family (divorce) law. I’m not even an IL attorney.

    United will have liability up to the contract of carriage for Pets, like luggage. If your favorite piece of luggage given to you by your dead beloved aunt sally were destroyed by the airline, there is no more liability than destruction my sleek tumi.

    Dogs should be considered people, or cooler than people, but it’s just not the law.

    My 80lb dog is sitting in my lap right now and she will drive or fly private, if necessary. Public planes aren’t meant for dogs and vice versa. Watched two “service dogs” growl and try to attack an old man. Both were seated in VirginA First just 3 weeks ago. They didn’t like his cane. My dog would likely have to be restrained by an air Marshall and zip tied the moment food was brought out.

    United sent one of my bags to the wrong country. American lost my bag on the wrong continent for 23 days. I don’t trust the airlines with low legal liability items. Crashing and injuries, are expensive AF, safe. Not feeding people, taking off an hour late, losing bags or hurting animals, low liability, therefore at risk.

    The passenger has a contractual right to fly, but not a constitutional one. EF the passenger. I said it. May SHE be charged. She has an obligation -a legal one- to care for her animal. She failed. If a business associate asked you to put your dog in a washing machine, shut the door, and hit spin cycle would you do it? That’s what this woman did. Nobody forcing her to fly, legally. The FA made an unreasonable request. The passenger made a terrible choice.

    And to the posts about the “fasten seatbelt sign” being on? FML. You are telling me that no one got up to pee for four hours? I watch people get up during the takeoff climb to be served water by the FAs (after 10k feet. Before that, they do keep you seated). Check on the your dog FFS.

    Don’t fly United, please. They must change their ways.

    Final thought: i have a dream about flying with my dog in EK F. I would get her her own suite (JAL miles, obv). I just think she would love it the most.

  146. As far as I’m concerned, the other passengers are complicit, even though United and the flight attendant are still 100% at fault.

    Putting a living creature in an overhead bin is incredibly foolish and dangerous. It’s not reasonable to think it would be safe, so I think it’s a silly argument to make in the defense of anyone involved in this situation. And I’m also concerned about the apparent hellscape we live in where it’s impossible to stand up to an airline’s abuse of power to the extent that we all have to sit by idly and listen to puppies die in the overhead compartments while we do nothing. The bystanders didn’t commit the act, but they didn’t intervene when they had the opportunity, and I’m having trouble looking past that. When authorities fail us, we need to be able to rely on each other.

    Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, obviously, but I really hope people use this as an opportunity to examine the ways we can be more proactive in bad situations. Paralysis is a normal (albeit harmful) response, which is why we need to actively work to fight it.

  147. I would never put my dog in a place that he might be in danger. I would rather leave the flight.
    This guy sums it up well:
    “The passenger has a contractual right to fly, but not a constitutional one. EF the passenger. I said it. May SHE be charged. She has an obligation -a legal one- to care for her animal. She failed. If a business associate asked you to put your dog in a washing machine, shut the door, and hit spin cycle would you do it? That’s what this woman did. Nobody forcing her to fly, legally. The FA made an unreasonable request. The passenger made a terrible choice.”

  148. First, why was the carrier allowed to be brought on the plane if it could not fit under the seat. Most flight attendants and some are more adamant about it than others have you stow your bag during takeoff and landing. If this woman had so many bags that the dog carrier could not fit under the seat, then she should not have been allowed to bring the dog carrier on the plane. This was United’s fault and they need to change their policy.
    If this woman had a baby, probably a carriage and another son, her hands were full already and that is dangerous if there is an incident. She should not have had both the baby and the dog. Too much too manage and it is not the airlines fault it is the passenger’s fault. You just can’t bring everything on a plane.

    2) Pugs, bull dogs have problems breathing to begin with and vets suggest not flying with them. So the owner of the dog is at fault for bringing the dog on the plane.

    3) Once the plane was at cruising altitude why did the owner not take the dog out of the overhead compartment, the flight attendants would have let her. This is the owner’s fault.

    I owned a dog and I get so mad with irresponsible dog owners. Flying is a huge thing to manage. This woman was not using common sense, she was being an irresponsible dog owner. The fact that she did not take the dog out of the compartment and check on the dog is the owner’s fault and not United’s. This is a person who should not have owned a dog.

    You can’t put stupid people’s bad judgement on the airline. This woman was obviously overwhelmed and she put the other passenger’s at risk by bringing too much onto the plane.

  149. So many unanswered questions?? I have flown with my female dog many times. I would never ever fly with my male dog. He is crazy! Both are miniature schnauzers and would fit in an approved carrier under my seat. When I travel, I also drag along a big backpack. The backpack and the dog make it a very cumbersome trip. I can’t image bringing 2 small children also. Passenger could be faulted for a bad decision to try to manage all of this. My backpack goes in the overhead and the approved dog carrier fits under the seat in front of me (which is the airline regulation). Was this person’s dog carrier approved? If not, United is at fault. If it was approved, why wasn’t it under the seat? Did passenger decide that her carryon needed to be with her under seat? If so, passenger made decision as to importance of each. If she tried to fit both under seat and dog carrier stuck out, that’s a problem. FA should have told passenger that dog MUST go under seat per airline rules. FA and United are at fault for telling passenger to put dog in overhead. I , for one , could have never sat on a plane and listened to a dog crying in the overhead without checking on it. Why did no one help this lady? It definitely seems she needed help handling 2 children & a dog. 3-4 hours of not being allowed to get out of your seat is ridiculous. Somebodies gotta pee! The death of this poor pup lies with many! IMHO

  150. He was suffocated. No autopsy needed to prove that. Oh and by the way an entire plane listened to him die and no one else got up and said or did anything. What is wrong with us?

  151. Owner is to blame for many reasons. What’s the saying “if someone told you to jump off a bridge”? They obviously knew it wasn’t a good idea if they said they yelled at the flight attendant “it’s a dog”. The dog barked for 2 hrs and they never checked on it. Didn’t they sit there listening to the pre flight announcements about items shifting in overhead bins?? Not to mention now the daughter is doing these interviews supposedly right after the dog is found dead and there is no sadness she is actually sounding like she knows she should talk all about how it’s the flight attendants fault. Something doesn’t add up here. I’m not saying the flight attendant should have no blame but in the end its the owner. If the flight attends said to put a baby in the overhead bin would you?

  152. Would the Flight Attendant ask the passenger to please put their baby in the overhead bin? It’s making a lot of racket and taking up room? No. There should have never been any difference here. We’re talking about a living creature that you are wanting to stuff into a compartment. Take three seconds to use your brain and realize that putting a dog in an overhead compartment – where luggage is set to shift during the flight – is complete stupidity.
    Also, the owner needs to take some responsibility. I would gladly tell the Flight Attendant that I will give up my seat in order to keep my dog safe. Lives, no matter whose they are, should come before convenience.

  153. So let me figure this out. I enjoyed flying in the 70s. Then Reagan saved us all with the magic potion of DEREGULATION. Then they had all the mergers and aquisitions, which cost a lot of money, those MBAs be expensive! Less competition, less passenger care, service goes down, but let’s not even MENTION this all began with deregulation of the industry. And yes, that FA deserves to be doxxed. If a cop shoots someone, even if cop is in total compliance and acted justly, cop’s name is everywhere, hate mail comes in, protests, marches, etc. The FA was in a similiar position as the cop, she had authority and power over others. And she abused it. She is totally guilty, she lied about it. You want to fly with someone like that? No thanks.

  154. The poster who didn’t want a dog near his child in an airplane should be told the dog was in a carrier. And dog owners I know would like it if you kept your child away from their dog. It’s tragically common that parents will allow their child to run up to a strange dog, yap about how Snotleigh and Brayddyn love doggies! If you ask them to not touch their dog, the parents go off like a pit bull on crack.

    I’m sure other plane passengers would like it if you kept your child in his seat, from kicking the seat in front of him, touching other passengers, demanding to use their electronics, playing some wretched kidvid at top volume, over and over . . . running up and down the aisles, and shrieking so loud everyone gets a migraine.

    All of the above has happened to me or people I know. Not to mention all the viral vids of kids gone wild. Kids running loose are a danger to everyone, are at great risk of injury should the plane hit turbulence.

    Mothers changing diapers on the seats and shoving the soiled diapers in the seat pockes is common, according to industry sources.

    So I can’t help it if you hate dogs.

    Just remember many feel the same about your precious children.

  155. My sensitivity to animals and commitment to their safety resulted in a “melt down” after reading what had happened to this puppy. I agree with those who have said the flight attendant who insisted on this animal being placed in an overhead bin should be fired. I have also thought a lot about what I would have done had I been an observer and know that I would have stood-up and intervened on behalf of the animal. What does it say about our culture if other passengers sat idly by and took no action? Has it come to this???

  156. If the culture of the airlines have changed it’s because of the continual insistence for cheaper flights. Being an FA used to be a good job, but recently people treat them often like glorified waitresses.

    I would hope the dog had a necropsy, and then we will know for sure what happened.

    I think the airlines should limit the number of kids/animal per adult, I’m pretty sure there have been a lot of issues with people who are totally stressed out while traveling.

    I wasn’t there but I’ll leave the rest of it alone until the investigation is finished.

    I love dogs, and I was pretty horrified to read about this, but the owner has final responsibility, she put the dog in the overhead and apparently never checked on it. And all those witnesses? They listened to it for quite a while and did nothing, they all bear responsibility along with the FA. There is no reason for no one to have checked unless the seat belt sign was on for four hours, I’m also confused why it wasn’t under the seat, was it too big. Was there something under the seat already?

    This is why they need to complete the investigation before verbally lynching the FA

  157. I don’t understand why no one checked on that dog during the 3+ hour flight. It wasn’t turbulent the entire flight. I still don’t understand anyone thinking it was a good idea to put a dog in the overhead bin. I blame everyone on the plane who saw and heard what was going on. You wouldn’t put a baby up there. I just don’t understand anyone’s mentality that…just because it’s a dog, it’s ok? The owner was at fault, the flight attendant was most certainly at fault, and so were all the passengers who didn’t want to ‘rock the plane’ by confronting the flight attendant when she made a deadly decision to shove a small dog up in the overhead bin. It’s a sorry situation altogether when no one was brave enough to use common sense.

  158. I haven’t flown on United since the seventies, and will never do so again. The flight attendant should be fired, the owner should have known better, and the airline thinks that making a mealy-mouthed apology will settle the issue. I blame the owner, but only a little; I blame the airline, which evidently is the leader in animal deaths these days; and most of all I blame the flight attendant, who must have thought she was somebody. No animal should EVER be put in an overhead bin on an airplane. And where were the passengers during all this? Not one of those spineless individuals did anything to save the woman’s crying pet. For several hours it barked?

    Sc;rew all of them and the horse they rode in on.

  159. I just saw a video of a father and a toddler being put off a Southwest Airlines flight because the toddler would not sit in her seat . A woman tried to explain in a non challenging manner what had transpired and the Flight Attendant asked her if she wanted to be kicked off the plane and told another or the same woman not to video what was going on . So yes , if they want to be the one with total control and power then they must be responsible . Also , why can’t the FA be fired ? She violated policy, did not listen to what she was being told and it resulted in the death of a pet . What can you be fired for ? I would not feel safe flying with this FA -she is dangerous .

  160. The dog was put in the overhead bin because the carrier could not fit under seat. United is to blame. They take people’s money and tell them the size carrier to use knowing full well with all the modifications in the cabin in an effort to jam in more people that the pet carrier’s will no longer fit underneath the seats in front of you.

  161. LMAO! Everyone is putting 100% blame on United, yet the dog owner never bothered to check on her dog!!!!!

    Personally if that was me, I would have told the FA to F**K off, land the damn plane, and get me the F off of it with my kids and my dog in tow. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, I don’t care who you are, authoritative or not, touches my dog if I know damn well they are not following procedure. That woman PAID to have her dog in the cabin with her.

    That FA should be fired, but the passenger (as devastated as she is), I’m sure feels she could have checked on her dog periodically now that hindsight is 20/20.

  162. This situation is horrible. Having lost dogs unexpectedly, i can sympothize with the family.
    That said, I find it interesting how many people call for the FA to be fired and state that the passenger was not at fault in any way. A couple of key points:
    1. The dog carrier was protruding into the aisle and didn’t fit under the seat. All passengers know the rules and they are clearly stated when you book your ticket and state you will have a pet. If the carrier was too big, the passenger is partially at fault and also the gate agents who let her board. The FA is responsible for the safety of all passengers and had to clear the areas.
    2. Nobody checked the dog during the flight. They could have checked on the dog and taken the carrier down from the overhead during the flight – just had it up there for takeoff and landing.

    To state that the FA was completely at fault and the passenger(s) were not at fault at all is ignoring the basic facts of the situation and that we have to have some responsibility for our own actions. How many time do we see passengers push the boundaries and then blame the airline. If you are traveling with an animal, as the owner you need to take responsibility for the animals safety.

  163. I live on Guam and United Airlines should be sued for what decisions they made after this incident occurred. United Airline is the only airline that flies directly to Hawaii and from Hawaii to Guam. There is an Air Force Base and a Naval Base on Guam. There are hundreds of military people here and many local people that love their pets like a family member. United just told everybody that they stopped shipping pets because of this incident happening. This left many service people and the local residents without any way to ship their pets off island. After numerous complaints from service people United decided to make military exempt from this. It left the local people handing with no way to bring or send their pets on/
    off island. I called United Airline and they informed me that they will make a decision in May on if they will continue shipping pets. May finally came and they made a decision to continue pet shipping but it wouldn’t be until the end of month to make reservations and then another week or so before they would ship the pets. United also made several changes in their pet travel plans and have put a burden on many families. United put several restrictions on what pets they would allow on the plane. There are many species of animal now that CANNOT fly on United. Not only did United decide to do this they also made the flight from Guam to Hawaii that was a domestic flight before in to an International flight. Before this change on the domestic flight it only cost $300.00 to ship your pet from Hawaii to Guam. Now that they made it an International flight you call United PET SAFE the company that ships animals for United and they will tell you that due to being an International flight you have to go through IPATA and use their IPATA member for your area to ship your pet if it is a species that is allowed. The price for a medium size dog went from $300.00 to $1,300.00 just to ship a pet. Remember that United is THE ONLY Airline that flies back and forth to Hawaii from Guam. United has made having a pet on Guam in to something that most military and locals can’t afford. I wanted to buy a pure bred dog located on Hawaii and ship it to Guam. The dog was a puppy only 9 weeks old and United IPATA member quoted me a price of $1,170.00 just to ship the dog. Pets are part of our family and many people need pets for companions to make their lives happier. Why can United Airlines hold the entire island of Guam from getting pets to and from the island? Our military as well. These people have given so much for our Country and they deserve the right to have pets as family members. As it is currently with United if you have a Pug, Shi-Tzu, and many other breed of dog and you need to be relocated off island or move to the States you will have to sell your pet or put it in an animal shelter. This is not correct for people to just give up a loving family member. Not only that you give up your pet but be charged way to much for shipping your pet if allowed. This all came about because of United having out of control power minded people working for them. The people on Guam are being treated very bad with United Airlines pet transportation. This needs to STOP and let people have some happiness with their pets.
    I’m really amazed that our local Government hasn’t done anything about this. I believe United Airlines and the local Government are working together and they are aware of all the heart break they are causing with our pets. What if you had children that loved their dog. Then you had to tell them that we need to sell the pet or put it in an animal shelter because of these stupid new regulations that got put in place. People can’t even have pets anymore. WOW what is this world coming too.

  164. “I’m curious if others feel differently? If I had witnessed this I would have probably thought that it seems very unusual and not particularly safe, but my initial reaction wouldn’t have been “OMG the dog is going to die in there.” I suspect others on this flight felt the same way? I’d like to think that if anyone thought the dog was going to die, they would have spoken up.”

    AFAIK overhead storage on an airplane is not specifically vented in any manner. Not designed to be airtight but not vented to allow free flow of air either. Suffocation from CO2 buildup would seem to be a risk.

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