Heartbreaking: United Kills Another Dog (This Time In The Cabin)

Filed Under: United

Update: United has sent the following statement via their spokesperson —

This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.

Personally, I put 100% of the blame on United Airlines and the flight attendant in this situation. Three times as many animals died while in the care of United last year than all other US carriers combined, and their PetSafe program just sent a dog to Japan rather than Kansas by mistake. Clearly, a broad investigation is needed.

This story is heartbreaking. A United flight attendant instructed a passenger to place their dog (in a carrier) in the overhead bin, and the dog ended up dying. Here’s part of the story from Maggie Gremminger, who was on the flight (United 1284) last night from Houston to New York LaGuardia, and seated one row away from the passenger that this happened to:

I was in seat 24A, the woman (mother) was 23C, with her young teenage daughter in seat 23B. The mother had a young daughter and a newborn.

I was sitting in the row behind the woman with the dog, and the gentleman next to me witnessed it all as well. We both overheard/saw the interaction between the flight attendant and the passenger.

I witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a woman to put her dog carrier with live dog in an overhead bin. The passenger adamantly pushed back, sharing verbally that her dog was in the bag. The flight attendant continued to ask the passenger to do it, and she eventually complied. By the end of the flight, the dog was dead. The woman was crying in the airplane aisle on the floor. A fellow passenger offered to hold the newborn while the mother was crying on the floor aisle with the dog. it was this out of body experience of grief.

But holy **** I don’t know how the hell this happened. The flight attendant wouldn’t even NEED to hear there was a dog in the carrier. She was right there looking at the TSA approved bag. (The dog carrier is the black on the ground in the photo. It is clearly a carrier with mesh, which makes me question how the flight attendant could say she didn’t know there was a dog)

I feel angry and powerless and regretful. I know clearly this was not an intent of anyone and yet that flight attendant is responsible for this. How were we to know that maybe there wasn’t a new ventilation system in those bins? It’s not our job to know this information.

I understand emotional distress in a different way right now. I can’t get the image out of my head of the woman on the floor of the airplane aisle, crying and holding that sweet dog.

Immediately after the flight landed, myself and another witness stayed to speak with various United employees. The flight attendant denied knowing it was a dog, but the man seated next to me said he heard the flight attendant respond to the passenger “you need to put your dog up here” – therefore admitting that she knew an animal was in there. Additionally, I’ve been in touch with United via private message on Twitter.

They publicly replied asking me to message them – once private messaging them I shared my confirmation # and flight info. They replied:

“We appreciate you reaching out with more information. Please know that we are in contact with the passenger and thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

I also was offered $75 in credit (along with the gentleman witness) for staying and working with them to share our recollection of events. We both refused the credit.

Here’s a picture of the mother, her daughter, the infant, and the dog carrier (taken after the flight).

This is so heartbreaking and disgusting. I can’t even wrap my head around how this could have happened.

United received negative attention last year for a dog who died after being shipped via their PetSafe cargo service. Traveling with a pet in the hold is more risky, but barring an emergency a dog should be safer in the cabin with their owner.

There’s simply no circumstance under which a dog should ever be placed in the overhead bin. Ever. The witnesses claim that it was made clear that it was a dog. Even if it wasn’t, just looking at the carrier it’s incredibly obvious that it’s for an animal.

United should be ashamed of this, and the flight attendant in question needs to be disciplined.

  1. Another nazi concentration camp flight attendant guard. A little power and they think they’re Trump

  2. I think the word “outraged” is overused in this day and age, but as a responsible dog owner, I am outraged by this.

  3. Sad story.

    Isn’t there gaps in the overhead bins? I’ve seen some gaps before. I am not convinced it was suffocation. Was the dog sick to begin with? Maybe the dog had a bad heart and caused anxiety?

  4. Why on earth would you agree to do this? Was no one checking on the dog during the flight?

    Absolute madness.

  5. I am glad that my company of 8000+ ended our relations with United at the start of this year and placed UA on our internal black-list due to the lack of service consistency and dismal customer support. Basically UA loses out on approximately $62MM worth of business, annually, through us.

  6. Whenever I hear stories like this, I can only wonder, where were the rational and reasonable human beings?

  7. This makes my blood boil! FA needs to stop playing sheriff, then playing dumb. FA needs to be FIRED pronto!

  8. This is absolutely awful!! I’m a dog owner, and this story breaks my heart. United needs to be responsible for this.

  9. Fired and arrested for animal abuse. Who could think of doing something this repulsive and unacceptable. I am fairly certain if I were a witness, I would make a scene and risk being bludgeoned on the friendly skies.

  10. That’s tragic….that a passenger would be so selfish as to bring a non-service animal onto a flight.

  11. There needs to be a criminal investigation by law enforcement of the flight attendant. It looks like there are plenty of witnesses to make a cruelty to animals charge stick. Of course United should fire her.

  12. You know, presumably there are at least dozen people within earshot of this going down. I cannot imagine that at least 75% of them would have spoken up about something so insane. I know I would have. There has to be more to this story.

  13. And yet, not ONE SINGLE PERSON said a word..until it was too late.

    Stand up and speak up, people.

    If you know it’s wrong…SAY SO.

    Don’t be sheep.

  14. This is heartbreaking! People these days are afraid to complain or make any fuss with a flight attendant. The attendant has the power to easily remove the passenger from the airplane. I can’t even begin to imagine this poor woman’s grief.

  15. The story doesn’t make sense. FAA requires all dog carriers to fit underneath the seat, and having the FA instructing the carrier to be put in overhead bin would be a FAA violation.

    Where is the story source?

  16. Bystander indifference. Plus she has a high maintenance handbag… most people aren’t willing to help people like that.
    On the other hand, there are enough dog lovers in the world, I’m surprised someone didn’t say something.
    Finally, why not just take the dog down right after take off? I don’t get why it would stay up there all flight without being checked on…

  17. Was there not room under the seat? Isn’t that where pets usually go?
    Was the dog was up there for the whole flight? Seems like it might have been a heart attack, with the pressure changes and things moving around in the dark. I’m sure the FA was stressed, but this isn’t something that should ever be allowed to slip through the cracks.

  18. I flew my dog once when i moved from New York to San Diego in Cabin.
    Personally it was not a fun experience for me, even though I really did not have any problems, but the stress of all the paper work and constantly being asked questions, and then watching my dog for 6 hours on a plane, just too much stress. I vowed to never put my dog or myself through that again, so he stays put now.

    This story breaks my heart, United Suck, I would have just argued stating that their rules say the dog needs to be under the seat in front and I would have waited for them to kick me off and would never put my dog in the overhead compartment.

  19. @derek – There are gaps, but the bins are not designed to provide airflow for breathing or temperature control. Most commercial aircraft have at least one cargo compartment configured for this, and manufacturers provide standards for how to load animals, based on proper air circulation. However, this isn’t the case for overhead bins. In fact, Flight Attendant manuals I’ve seen specifically prohibit animals from going in the overhead. I’m curious if UA’s states this. Could also have been a breed (brachycephalic) that made it more susceptible to these situations.

  20. This story doesn’t make sense. Overhead bins are not airtight. Also, even if the dog owner complied to put the dog in the bin, there was absolutely nothing preventing her from opening the bin and checking on the dog in flight or taking it down. I’ll wait for the other side to comment before casting blame.

  21. United hits a new f*cking low……..

    AND, hey, Flight Attendant Union–it’s not just the airline’s problem…..time to kick out a bad apple.

  22. Disgusting BUT two huge mistakes made by the dog owner here:
    1) Fly United. Well, we all know that, right?
    2) Place the dog on the overhead bin. Was she crazy? Yes, arrest me, tie me to the seat, ask the plane to land and FBI take me but no way in hell I would comply with that stupid request.

  23. Omg this is just disgusting. How could this have happened? Why wouldn’t the woman take a stronger stance against the FA? I’d risk making a scene and getting kicked off the plane if it meant my dog would remain safe.

    I am so sad and feel for this poor woman.

  24. @TODD

    I Know we should be speaking out, but why? I know that if I speak out, I’m most certain I would be offloaded with the FA playing sheriff/God.
    That’s the sad state of affairs, but everyone knows that if you contradict o stand up against a FA, you’re surely to lose… and big time.

  25. There must be much more to the story. Bins are not airtight by any means and are part of the cabin conditioned air. So I don’t understand why the dog died.
    Would love to hear the whole story – very possible that the dog died of other causes (though the flight attendant was wrong in any case).

  26. This comes from TPG:

    “Under no circumstance should the pet have been required to be stored in the overhead bin. While the bin is pressurized, there’s no air circulation in the bins as there’s no expectation for a living animal to be placed inside. While bins certainly aren’t airtight, the lack of air might have played a part in the loss of the pet.”

    I don’t know for sure if it’s true, but I do believe that it was either a lack of sufficient oxygen or the stress, o even both.

  27. This seems fishy to me. Unless the woman comes forward I take this outraged bystander’s story with a grain of salt. Also, is it just me or does it seem strange that no one is questioning the logic of traveling with two children and a dog. That seems risky to begin with and then for the woman to agree to put the dog in the overhead bin. Is that not ultimately her decision? I’ll wait for more information before forming an opinion.

  28. That dog carrier looks too big to go under a seat. And the safety rules about all bags being under the seat or in a bin for takeoff and landing are clear. If it doesn’t fit under the seat and can’t go in a bin, she shouldn’t have been allowed to board with it. And she should have cared enough to consider that herself. But it seems clear the FA couldn’t let the passenger keep the door carrier in her lap.

    So an interaction was needed to find a different solution. And between the handbag and giant fussy baby cart, and reading between the lines of descriptions of like “adamantly pushed back”, and the fact she brought her tiny dog onboard in the first place without considering the rules… I realize I don’t know for sure, but it’s pretty easy to imagine that the passenger was not using her best social skills to make it easy for the flight attendant to work with her. That just isn’t a winning strategy when flying (or really ever, but especially when flying). The FA ideally should have gone above and beyond to find an alternate solution, maybe buckling the dog into an empty seat somewhere, maybe periodically checking it during the parts of flight when passengers had to remain seated. But when people get “adamant”, the likelihood of a creative alternate solution goes way way down. That’s just how people work.

    In the end, it sounds like the FA may have been in a rules conflict situation, and instead of finding a better way out, mentally said “screw your stupid dog and screw you, I just want this problem to go away” with no expectation that the dog would die. Honestly, I think a lot of people would have done the same.

  29. @ ptahcha @ Mark G. — Multiple passengers have shared their accounts of the situation, and they all corroborate what Maggie shared with us directly earlier. United’s spokesperson has also issued a statement assuming full responsibility.

  30. So sorry, yet nothing will change from deranged empire of corporate worship. place on your bathroom mirror–americans were jokes dressed up as humans. friends do NOT let friends fly on any us carrier. all about hustling

  31. Yesterday, a Bombardier Dash-8-Q400 belonging to US-BANGLA AIRLINES(Dhaka) crashed in Kathmandu Intl’ Airport while operating scheduled Dhaka-Kathmandu flight.

  32. @ Sid — When you travel with a dog in a carrier, the check-in agent measures and weighs the dog and the carrier. You can’t skip the counter, as without showing proof that you paid the extra fee for your dog to travel in the cabin, you can’t board with them. (Rules for ESA pets are different, and they don’t typically travel in carriers).

    I used a similar-looking carrier for when we brought our puppy home. On ours the top is soft and collapsible so that it can easily squish down to go under the seat (the dog has to still be able to have room to move around when the carrier is squished, which is something they check for at the counter), but then it can pop back up to give a bit more room for airport/car time. I think most of the FAA-approved pet carriers have a similar design, though I only have the one.

  33. @Tiffany thank you. This still just seems so strange to me. Perhaps a rule where you can either fly with a lap child or a dog and not both? Keep up the good work.

  34. This flight attendant should be charged for criminal negligence causing death. This is unacceptable. The lying and denial of knowledge afterwards is a slap in the face, further proof that this flight attendant is unfit for any job that requires interacting any living thing outside of a prison cell. I don’t fly United, and I will never fly United, pet in tow or not. Needless to say, I will make sure anyone I know with a pet they want to keep alive will steer clear of this revoltingly irresponsible airline as well.

  35. I find hard to believe that the woman didn’t check HER OWN DOG every 10 minutes during the flight.Maybe she did it, maybe the dog was “ok” for all the lenght of the flight, and it died at the end during the descent/landing for a heart attack due to a combination of fear and being confined in a dark and tight space?

  36. I find it hard to believe the FA was on a flight and never encountered a dog It’s also common sense which was clearly lacking. Someone better review her resume

    I hope the FA is remorseful

    I’m also not happy someone posted a picture of the family, even if their faces were blocked. Do people have no shame

  37. After reading the story and comments, I believe there must be more to this whole deal. Many pet carriers have only mesh at each end and it is very possible that the owner put the carrier in the overhead bin in such a way that both the ends were snugly fit against other luggage, thereby preventing airflow. I just cannot think of the dog dying in the overhead bin otherwise (if indeed there were no health issues otherwise.) Recently it has been more of a routine to blame the airline for anything, with passengers not accepting their responsibilities. Most of my own bad experiences with the air travel were because of other passengers and not because of the airline staff. I do not have any affiliations with any airline but you have to be fair and keep a balance.

  38. It’s also true that it’s unclear why the dog passed away since the overheads are not air tight and it wouldn’t have been a temperature issue Only if another bag fell on it ? Something fishy

  39. I don’t blame the other passengers on this. It sounds like the FA was adamant the dog should be placed in the overhead bin. As a passenger, I’d assume the FA knows better than me in terms of the bin having enough airflow and being suitable for a dog, since they are trained in these kinds of things while I’m not.

  40. If people take dogs in bags that look too large to be under the seat, they have to take some responsibility.

    If the FA insisted the dog could not go under the seat then it was the passenger’s call. I know lots of dog owners that would have gotten off the plane, but it was the owner’s call.

    It’s not like the FA secretly put the dog in the bin — the owner put the dog in the bin.

  41. If you read the facebook account, an important detail is shared – it was a frenchie. I have a bulldog myself (english, in my case). However, these very brachycephalic are highly susceptible to temperature changes. If he was too hot or cold, he could have easily suffocated. Poor little fella – this makes me so sad…

  42. That FA blatantly went against FAA and company policies! She needs to be removed and barred from flying.

  43. With the constant fear of being thrown off an aircraft and/or arrested for “questioning” a FA, I don’t blame passengers for not standing up and fighting back. The mother has a newborn and all the sleep depravity that goes with that and may not be an experienced traveler. She may have heard all the news accounts that you shut up and do what the FA tells you or you get thrown off. With 2 children and a dog and probably 2 hours of sleep, who would want that. She probably thought that if she was told to do that, then it must be safe for the dog. We’re forced to sit beside ridiculous support animals and comply with all sorts of BS, so I can see how an novice traveler could have thought they had no choice but to comply.

  44. The flight attendant should be fired and maybe looked at for animal cruelty charges. There is no way that United as a policy that live animals are to be placed into an overhead bin, so the FA is on her own with this and should be held fully to account. Also, maybe people should stop bringing their frickin pets on to planes to start with.

  45. @Laura Agreed. I could see a passenger being intimidated enough to do this and assuming that if the FA is insisting then it must be safe to do so.

  46. Appalling! A sad but preventable story. The FA needs to have criminal charges brought against her. United needs to be responsible too.

  47. It was a frenchie. Those kind of dogs always have breathing problem due to short nose. I imagine stuck in a dark squeezed bin doesn’t help. Apparently dog was making all kind of sounds while in the overhead bin. But died towards the end of three hour flight. Very sad. As someone who had dogs, I feel for the owner. I do think there should be policy of no dogs allowed on airplanes period unless it’s a sightseeing dog. That way, this kind of tragic accident doesn’t happen again. I think that lady with a small kid and a new born had her hands full than to contstantly check on her dog in overhead bin. She really should have left the dog at home than to juggle three (kid, baby, dog) on an airplane all by herself. FA should be disciplined/ fired for not following the rule.

  48. @Laura and @Bill agree. In the Post 9/11 air travel environment, one never questions the flight crew and there are plenty of them who abuse their “power.” There seem to be more of these power abuse incidents on United than the others.

  49. I’ve flown United twice for a trans-Atlantic move with our large dog in the cargo hold. I’ve also flown United with my parent’s small dog in the cabin. So I’ve spent a lot of time reading materials from United on travelling with your dog. All of the above were some of the most stressful flights I’ve had because of worry for the dog (and on one of the trans-Atlantic flights, our dog got very sick upon arrival because of the stress of the flight).

    The materials provided by PetSafe (United’s pet shipping program) state that certain short-nosed dog breeds are high risk for travel and are either banned or restricted from travelling in the cargo hold because of their breathing problems and associated health risks.

    I’m writing this to say that if you are flying with your pet (in the hold or in the cabin), read up on the risks for your breed. This is a horrible tragedy and under no circumstances should a dog ever be put in the overhead bin, but if you have a short-nosed dog, don’t subject them to the stress of flying in the first place (even if they aren’t banned from the cabin). After flying with our dogs in the past out of necessity, I will gladly drive anywhere with them instead of flying after seeing how stressful it is on the dog.

  50. I agree with Kevin.

    There should be a policy of no dogs on airplanes (save for sight animals) to prevent this type of episode.

    French bulldogs have died on planes before (didn’t some airline refuse to fly them anymore?). Neither the FA nor the owner should have ever put a frenchie in an overhead bin. Tragic.

  51. Sad, but what is truly heartbreaking and horrifying is that the leftists/democrats/liberals want to continue the killing of unbroken childeren in this country.

    Praise God that the current administration is working on banning abortion.

    Sad that a pet died, but truly horrifying that 1 million babies are aborted every year.

  52. I’m tired of animals having more rights than people. If someone on the plane had been allergic to the dog they would have been asked to take another flight. If this ladies dog carrier didn’t fit she should have gotten off and gotten a new carrier that fit under the seat and taken a later flight. If anyone is to blame it’s the owner

  53. This is what happens when u put too much power into a FA from a US airline, and United employees have a reputation of abusing these powers. Dr Dao’s episode must have faded in memories; this is another my way or the highway power abuse from a United employee, who feigned igorance when her abuse of power went totally wrong.

    Its utter rubbish that flyers of US based airlines are facing from FAs these days. Episodes like Dr Dao and this will continue to happen, though it seems worse at United. Bad corporate culture, and it starts from the very top, the CEO.

    Its time to check the power vested in FAs, and hold them fully accountable when they overstep or abuse their powers. And that CEO of United, should be held accountable for these corporate culture issues.

  54. Luke abortion is great you should have been a ABORTIOON so WE DONT HAVE TO READ YOUR STUPID RELITGIOUS BULLSHIT FUCKERY!!!!!!!!!!1!!!

    This article was about a dog btw, not fetuses.

  55. Is the carrier the black box shown on the ground in the last picture. If so, then I could see why it has to be stowed during take-off given that it would not fit under any seat in front of.

    Another point that got me wondering is why apparently nobody checked on the dog during the flights. Lots of mistakes were made and lots of blame to go around.

  56. United management all needs to be fired and replaced. They only care about Wall Street metrics.

  57. Not ONE Person on this plane had enough sense or compassion to speak up. The woman is making this about herself more then the dog. Show the dog not you so maybe someone will use their head and speak up next time anything remotely like this happens with pets on planes. She should have said something, everyone should have.
    The only victim is the dog, everyone else was a participant. Awful! What an idiot owner too.

  58. Is that because JEEBUS TOLD YOU SO LUKE?!!!!!!!!????!!1!!!

    HA HA!!!!!!

    This article was about a dog btw, not fetuses.

  59. @Luke

    Keep your crappy fascist political beliefs to yourself. No one cares about your backwards superstitions.

  60. The dog was a French bulldog, which is flat-faced and prone to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome. Extra care should have been taken to make sure he gets plenty of air and he certainly NEVER should have been put in the overhead bin.

  61. @ Andrew, @KeepingItReal

    Too funny – you guys are sad about a dog, but not concerned about the slaughtering of the unborn.

    Remember, your mothers chose to have you.

  62. No way would that POS make me put my dog in the overhead bin. Everybody knows there IS NO AIR in there and it would suffocate. She better be glad I wasn’t one of the witnesses. Actually, I wouldn’t have allowed that to happen in the first place. I would have had ALOT to say about her order.

  63. @Andrew, @KeepingItReal.

    Apparently you both are bothered by my beliefs, hence you both feel the need to response.

    All liberals are only open minded, as long as you agree with them.

  64. @andrew

    Nothing is more fascist than abortion.

    My views are actually quite the opposite of fascism.

    Oh, and I am exercising my right to free speech.

  65. It’s hard to say what I would do if I was rushed boarding a plane with my child, my newborn and my dog, but hopefully, I would not comply with the flight attendant to place my dog in the overhead bin. Then if the flight attendant insisted that the dog must be stowed in the overhead bin, then refuse and instead choose to get off the plane and just miss my flight. Also, why aren’t the other passengers saying something to the women and flight attendant? I’ve witnessed people questioning a person in a parking lot who was leaving their dog in the car. This is a similar situation, speak up people! Help her out, offer to put the dog under your seat. Say something!

  66. Oh wow – so shocking to hear something so sad!!!! The Flight attendant involved is a disgusting human being, maybe they should travel in the overhead bin next time they go away with United!!! Disgraceful…..

  67. The First Amendment does provide the right to free speech-even if the “free speech” is stupid, irrelevant, ill-informed , and arrogant. It’s this kind of reasoning that leads to dumb things like placing a dog in an overhead compartment.

  68. @Yahia Zaidul Hassain – but there were no dogs on board, right?


    Oh, thank God! Now, back to my outrage.

  69. I would say that the flight attendant needs to be fired post haste, no final paycheck as that paycheck goes to the woman whose dog was murdered by that flight attendant so she can get a replacement dog to replace the dog that person murdered.

  70. This is disgusting. As a loving dog owner I can barley read this without crying. I am sick and tired of flight attendants making up their own rules. I’m constantly harrassed this isn’t right or that isn’t right. It’s time we start doing what we KNOW is right. Someone should have said something to help back this poor lady up. Clearly you all heard it but no one said anything to the flight attendant. That lady did NOT want to put her dog up there, she was forced to! To me this is no different than putting a human in the overhead compartment. She should be charged with negligence and murder. I will never fly with United again after hearing this story. They don’t care about us or our family. I hope that lady sues was the sh*t out of them. If you see something like this, say something! Don’t just sit back. This dog could have been alive still if some of the people spoke up instead of letting this lady force the dog up there.

  71. I read the article — very kind and responsible of Maggie Gremminger to share that with the world. I have also read all the comments which range from, let’s say A to Z.

    BUT, what IS the right approach to FAs (even flight crew) who make demands with which you disagree? I have no wish to turn a disagreement into an international or Federal incident. I don’t want to see dogs (big dog-lover here) or children, mothers, expectant mothers, old people, even teens and lager louts abused.

    But, what to do?

    Is there is published established USEFUL protocol agreed upon by travel writers, bloggers, airlines, FAs and so on.

    Yes, yes, I know the keep calm and speak in a low voice, be courteous, respectful and do not demean the other speaker, kind of stuff.

    That is as close to reality as the dentist shining a bright light in my eyes, wedging my mouth open, leaning into my face, revving her drill and commanding: “relax, this may hurt a little.”

    And, remember, these FA ‘assumptions of authority’ are ALWAYS being done in the context of “preparing for takeoff,” with the background of “I am here for your safety.” A friendly chat in the jetway is pretty much out of the question.

  72. For those saying it should have had air up there… it was a French Bulldog. They’re a flat-faced breed that the airlines won’t fly in cargo, because they are particularly prone to breathing trouble. It would have been fine under the seat, where it belonged.

  73. >>an airlines’ most important task is to transport people safely<<

    Exactly. Dogs have no place traveling in the cabins designed for humans. Send them as pet cargo and stop exposing surrounding passengers to your pet animals.

  74. I was a flight attendant in the good all days before 911. I realize that new laws and regulations had to be made in regards to flight attendant safety and our safety on the airplane. However, I thank God that I am not one of today’s flight attendants because SO MANY have turned into uncaring, military like, rude, threatening, unhappy people! What happened yesterday when that flight attendant demanded the customer place the dog in the overhead bin is beyond common sense. THE DOG SUFFOCATED! That Flight attendant should immediately be removed from duty. If she/he owns a dog someone should go get it it’s probably not safe! Shame on United Airlines once again.

  75. The flight attendant needs to be charged with animal cruelty and the owner and her immediate family should be given a big financial settlement AND be allowed to be able to fly free for life. Of course, this will not bring the dog back, but our legal system is not good at horrible situations like this. Unfortunately, I fear United will be able to say the dog was merely property under current law rather than a beloved family member, but maybe this case can set a positive precedent for pets and their caretakers. I cannot even imagine how horrific this is for the tortured pet owner. My heart aches just to think about it. This is exactly why I’m burning up my nearly 1 million frequent flier miles on United as they are now the worst domestic airline in this country. I can’t wait to get them out of my travel life. #Unitedkillspets

  76. EVERYONE who witnessed this crime is also guilty! There were people watching this horror unfold and F’ing NOBODY spoke up or tried to stop ONE FLIGHT ATTENDANT? Why didn’t other flight attendants stop her???????

  77. I was a Flight Attendant for United. Putting an animal in the overhead bin, is Not acceptable. It is against policy and regulation. The Flight Attendant who ordered the customer to put her tote in the overhead bin must have a huge Ego!!! The Flight Attendant’s response, ‘She did not know’ is what we are taught to say when we do not want to Claim responsibility. “I do not recall”, “I was Not aware”. FIRE THAT FLIGHT ATTENDANT.

  78. How the HELL could this EVEN happen? Fire the attendant immediately….and TRAIN ALL THE EMPLOYEES on what’s unacceptable and morbid and dismissive conduct! A dog is NOT disposable, it’s a family member! This makes us ALL question what United is doing and what their standards are. This is gross misconduct!

  79. Aaron, et al: Luke apparently doesn’t take issue with fetuses or babies. His only concern is for “unbroken childeren”.

    Damn all you elitists and your liberal edumication!

  80. Why anyone would fly United is beyond me… especially with pets…but don’t take my word for it.

    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.

    That’s more that a statistical anomaly there! I think DOT needs to revoke United’s Part 121 since all types of mammals, whether it be rabbit, dog, or Dr Dao are in danger of serious injury when flying with them.

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

  81. LUKE Sure my mother chose to have me, Luke, but you have NO IDDEA HOW MSANY ABORTIONNS SHE HAD FOR UNWANTEDD PREGGNENCIES!!!!!!!!!!111

    MORE ABORTION NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  82. I am assuming that this happened last night. Within hours, social media has determined the crime, the perpetrator, the guilt, and suggested punishment. United has accepted responsibility, and will examine the circumstances. Give them enough time so that they can determine what happened; social media is not investigative journalism.

  83. Anyone defending United is on their payroll. Notice how they keep using the word ‘fishy’ over and over. It’s the same United PR scumbags. You people are evil.

  84. Is there a police department that we can petition to put the flight attendant in jail for animal cruelty? Is it Houston or NYC?

  85. Where are the THINKING adults in this story? Dogs, cats, pigs, owls, PEEcocks, etc., have no business on an airplane……UNLESS YOU OWN THE AIRPLANE.
    Other people use kennels to board their pet when they go on vacation! What was the woman thinking…very little!
    This recent nonsense of taking the dog with us on vacation to grandma’s house has got to stop. This Emotional support pet lie is hogwash…and most of you know this.
    People want to save a few bucks and not use a kennel or not put it in the cargo hold for the kids to hold Fluffy on the airplane trip…it’s all garbage..and you know it.
    Do you allow your neighbor’s animals to go walk in your house…why not? WHY NOT?
    You know the answer.
    Then keep your pet rat, dog, squirrel, cat, peacock, cockatoo or whatever you call it away from my kids and my person!


  87. STOP ALLOWING DOGS AND ANIMALS ON PLANES !!!! ONLY LICENSED WITH PROPER PAPERWORK SERVICE DOGS FOR THE BLIND SHOULD BE ALLOWED. I have been on over 200 flights, I have seen dogs sitting seats, I have seen dogs defecating in the isles, enough is enough. You inconvenience more people who don’t bring animals on planes than stopping the few who feel its part of a “life privilege” to bring an animal with them every where they go. STOP THE INSANITY !!!

  88. Sorry, Luke, but you are wrong.

    Also, it has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative, it is just common sense.

    I’m not sure if you’re the regular type of troll or the Russian flavored kind.

  89. As someone who can’t stand having animals on planes, I would be more likely to fly United if this incident causes pet-bringers to avoid the airline. Small price (for some stranger who, if a responsible person, should have brought the dog back down after takeoff) to pay. Sh!tty for the dog though, which obviously did not choose to be dragged onto a human flight by its idiot owner.

  90. “Come fly the dog killing skies of United”

    People need to go to jail over their abuse of animals and humans. United needs a house cleaning, firings from the top down.

  91. Stevo in regard to your statement, all airlines in the past have allowed one animal to fly in the cabin. Regardless of what you like, that’s what it is. I would have deplaned before I’d put either of my dogs in the overhead bin. That is utter nonsense. Sounds like the poor lady had her hands full. And Stevo, animal lovers love and treat their animals like family as that is what they are.

  92. So we’re not allowed to care about a dog because your agenda is more important Luke? IMO, the fact that you’re pro-life doesn’t make you a tool in its own right. But the fact that you came into a discussion about something else to interject what YOU feel is more important… that definitely makes YOU (not your pro-life stance, but you personally), a tool.
    If it helps, imagine a liberal interrupting a sermon at church to talk about their feelings on Trump.
    Wouldn’t they be a tool?

    But coming from someone who has been and occasionally still is a tool himself, I want you to know you can always change for the better.

  93. Last summer my husband, baby and my dog were flying from JFK to Madrid via American Airlines with our dog. We had the economy comfort first row seats and there was a wall in front and the flight attendant told us to put the dog in the overhead bin compartment, we refused, we had to hanged seats so we could have our dog in the seat in front of us. Seems like this is not the first time they think that it’s ok to put an animal in there. I am disgusted with them. Worst airline ever!!!

  94. I pray she gets fired. Obviously she has no clue about animals and who gives her the authority to put an animal in the overhead bin. It was in an authorized crate for under the seat…WTF. She would not have liked me. I guess I would have gotten off the plane. Then called authorities.

  95. At most the flight attendant should be fired. A little jail time would be in order too. I understand the flying public can be a trial but these flight attendants are given too much power and they do not hesitate to use it. I try to never make eye contact as I’m afraid I might look at them wrong. They can for any reason kick you off the plane. Way too much power for most to handle. I am so sorry for this little puppy. This is unforgivable. Let’s stuff the flight attendent in the overhead and see how much they enjoy it. Awful , just awful. Shame shame shame on you, flight attendant

  96. Ill never fly united, ever. She should immediately be fired. She does not know her job and more importantly has no human compassion nor any semblance of common sense. Typical though of most of them they really don’t like their job and don’t want to be there.

  97. Just a horrible story. So sad for the family. I am a huge pet advocate and I am asking myself if I knew enough to have stood up and say something. I an not 100% sure, but I hope I would have questions it. Sadly, I know the answer now and would not hesitate to stand up should such a crazy event replay itself. I am also surprised that there were no experts or medical professionals on board (doesn’t every flight seem to have a doctor?)

    I did find this chart showing the track records of airlines transporting pets, well, more so, a record of the percentage of pets that die or are injured while in transport (you have to scroll down into the article). While not airlines are listed here, this chart shows that United has the worst safety record for transporting pets.


  98. This is what happens when flight attendants have power over minorities!
    Obviously she would never have said that to a man!
    The flight attendant took advantage of a Hispanic lady with a baby and a kid traveling alone.
    I have suffered this type of discrimination myself on this airline; my husband is tall and light skinned and they never treat him the way they treat me. So i do not fly with them.

  99. I feel awful for this family to lose a pet and effectively a family member that way. United/Continental and it’s disgusting excuses for human beings are at it again.
    If I attempted to blame the victim (like some of the twisted minds here try to) I’d say her mistake was flying United..c’mon, the recently almost killed a guy, dragging him through the aisle from a paid seat, why would you imagine they’d care for your family or your pet.
    And the worst thing is, this FA-despicable excuse for a human being, if we depend on United to do the right thing,, she’s going to get away with it… because the right thing for UAL is about taking your $$, by whatever means possible, screw the collateral, what passengers? f#¢¥ the passenger, we just want your wallet. It’s like paying a ransom, once you buy that ticket, give up any hope of anything good.
    We can make a point, after all it’s our money, so stop patronising them,but alas, most Americans don’t have the balls to back up words with action. I donated my miles, cut up my united affiliated credit card and refused to fly United after they gave Dr.Dao an ‘attitude adjustment’, I haven’t looked back since.
    I hope she sues, and hopefully, from one human to another, I hope she can put her heartbreak behind soon and move on. She deserves it.

  100. ‘…and the flight attendant in question needs to be disciplined.” If “disciplined” means fired, arrested, and jailed without bail until she’s prosecuted for charges of animal cruelty and negligence leading to the wrongful death of the puppy, then yes indeed she absolutely needs to be disciplined!

  101. I think the bitch flight attendant should be forced into a bin for 4 hours and see how she fares. If she doesn’t lose her job immediately I will NEVER fly United ever again. She should be put in prison. Filthy bitch!!!

  102. I’m a Travel Agency Owner and I’ve been in the industry since 1975 before computers existed. I’ve seen the airline industry through all their quirky changes after 43 years. The airlines use to be fun! It was an honor to work for the airlines and people were proud. The the airline industry acts like their doing us a favor by letting us fly in the Not So Friendly Skies!. The airlines want to charge you fees for just saying, “HI”. The customer pays their fee, but they do not get serviced. I’ve survived in this industry; only because I can deal with change when many people can not. Another thing the airlines can change rules, fees, anything they want at a drop of a hat and it’s okay. When the airlines were deregulated; worst thing to happen to the industry and the customer is the one that suffers and they could care less. Believe me they’re trained to say, “NO” for they most part. You might get a good egg every now and then, but very seldom. All they worry about is when the executives are going to get their next pay raise/bonuses and employees their raises. Please start running your airline in a more professional manner and act like you care about the customer. These days have long gone past! I could go on with what I know and literally write a book in all the industry changes. A word of advise if you can drive do so! You’ll be much more happier and so will your kids and pets!

  103. Can’t understand how United could possibly be so incompetent and horrible to its pax. I feel terrible for this family and I hope they get a huge settlement. It’s worrying that so many people are afraid to question the crew now.

  104. This is obscene. I am a flight attendant for a differant US carrier.. commonsense tells you no living breathing thing should EVER be placed in an overhead bin…. obviously this F/A didn’t have commonsense and as a result and innocent dog has died. This flight attendant should be fired, in fact, the entire crew if aware should also be accountable .I am absolutely sickened by this.

  105. This is what happens when public schools turn out people with no critical thinking or proper judgment. We also don’t listen to each other anymore. Everyone’s wrapped up in their own little world. We are raising a generation of Kardashian’s.

  106. This is shameful that a flight attendant abused her power and caused a puppy to die. She should be sent to prison there is something wrong with her. She must have known that could have hurt a puppy. United airlines and that lying killing flight attendant should be sued. Shame on you United. First you assault an innocent doctor and now this. Horrible airline.

  107. If this happened in the Orient, the Honourable thing for the FA to. do is commit HariKari, because even if She had a Brain Fog from Hangover, she will be Haunted by the sight of the Dog Corpse at Ever attempt to sleep

  108. This family should not listen to flight-attendant . . . this family should have open the in cabin pet kennel/carrier and have their pet dog’s head pop out of in cabin pet kennel/carrier and tell the flight-attendant sorry my pet is not a piece of luggage and my pet is not going to be stored in the overhead storage bin.

  109. The family says they heard the dog barking-crying in the bin but did not check on him because there was turbulence and they were not allowed to stand up. Garbage. They allowed themselves to be bullied by a deranged flight attendant and of course, you stand for a moment to open the bin if you know your dog is in trouble. The animals always suffer for the people.

  110. I am so disgusted on so many levels that a puppy was tortured due to such a despicable level of stupidity. UA needs to disappear forever…..what a [email protected]#$%$ing horrible event!


  112. For this being the Year of the Earth Dog (16 Feb 2018 to 4 Feb 2019), it hasn’t been shaping up all that well for man’s best friend. I feel really bad for the family of this puppy who followed all the rules set by the airline but happened to encounter a flight attendant whose perverse and unethical behavior and actions led to this dog’s death. And then for the FA to declare that she had NO idea there was a dog in the carrier; unfortunately, I’m not surprised since it would make sense from the FA’s point of view to cover indecency with dishonesty. If I were the FA, I would quietly leave the country, go work for an NGO in a developing country where no one knows me, and not return back to the USA for a long, long time.

    Then there’s the next incident of the German shepherd flying to Kansas who ended up in Japan. [‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.’] And then last week, a science teacher fed a puppy to a classroom snapping turtle in Preston, Idaho, causing more outrage. My fervent wish and prayer is that, from hereon in, all dogs and other animals on all flights, whether in the cabin or in the cargo hold, will arrive at their intended destination safe and sound.

  113. I would fight to the death before I let some imbecile tell me to put my beloved pet into an overhead compartment. Just how freaking stupid were the owners?

  114. First of all – I hate when people bring politics up when the focus here should only be about the poor dog that was killed. I don’t care who the hell you voted for! United Airlines – you have lost my family as customers and we will never put a dime in your pocket ever again! Your air flight attendant should be fired! To the owner of this dog – I would have never allowed my dog to be put in an overhead storage area. I would have picked my dog up and walked off that plane. I don’t care where the hell I was traveling to! You are just as responsible as the airline for you had the right to walk off that plane and you chose not to…. Shame on both of you!

  115. For sure,it appears that nope cared about this innocent puppy,just because he was an anlmal??I wonder if it had not been an animal barking(crying for help)wouldanyone had checked on him ?ever100015minutes

  116. PASS “…23A, 23B, hmnmm… excuse me, miss, I can’t seem to find my seat?”

    UAFA “Let me check your ticket. Oh, I see, you’re flying in an overhead bin today.”

    PASS “What?”

    UAFA “Yep, now if you’ll kindly step onto this seat back, I think I can squeeze you right next to that laptop.”

    PASS “What?”

    UAFA “Up you go!” *places woman in bin* “Cozy, right? Since I won’t see you until we land, here’s your complimentary package of peanuts. OK, lights out time!” *closes bin* “Thanks for flying the friendly skies.”

    PASS “What?”

    UAFA *opens bin* “I said, thanks for flying the friendly skies! Bye now!” *closes bin*

  117. As a former 15yr. flight attendant, I want to assure you that we most certainly told to never place any animal in the overhead bin! I definitely feel this moronic F\A should be fired,but if they aren’t, the industry is small enough that they will most likely quit from all the abuse they will receive in the future. Their problems are just beginning.

  118. This is horrible and while almost every independent person who works at United says this should never have happened – United failed 100 % to allow ONE INCOMPETENT FLIGHT ATTENDANT to have full authority over a living creatures life, causing its death. If United is this sloppy with training and vetting personnel, how do we know another incident like this could happen or as last year, the ground crew lobbing cruel words to a customer and a man forceable being pulled off the plane, experiencing physical distress.

  119. The FA should be fired and prosecuted.

    United Airlines should have to pay every person who has read this terrible story $1,000 to compensate them for the emotional distress caused by knowing about their incompetence and cruelty. I am not kidding.

  120. The dog barked for 2 (TWO!) hours before it died. Of course the flight attendant knew there was a dog. I have no respect for liars.

    the dog was in an airline approved carrier, so the owners were following the rules.

    This attendant needs to be charged with animal cruelty and fired.

  121. People who fly with dogs are annoying. Anyone can get a “therapy dog” certificate online. The bottom line is that it self-centered to bring your dog on the plane. Many of us are allergic and frankly, don’t want to hear your happy little mutt.

  122. Puppy. Was barking for two hours
    Not one presin stepped up…

    All at fault

    Flight attendant should be charged with animal abuse & cruelty

    The story speaks volume about America the people in it, the value placed on Life and how heartless we have become.

  123. flight attendant should be put in jail.
    and. airline should fire her
    and be fined for there lack
    of training of there flight attendants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  124. This is horrible! I have a boston terrier and he loves traveling with me. I can not imagine how his owners must feel! Heartbreaking!

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