16 March, 2018
The new change comes after a French bulldog died during a Monday flight from Houston to NY. "She was saying verbally, 'My dog is in here, no, this is my dog.' The flight attendant, in response, really just continued to ask her to put it above because it was a hazard where it was, it was a safety emergency, someone could trip".
On United Flight 1284 from Houston to NY on Monday, a woman who was flying with children and a small dog was pressured by a flight attendant to put her dog in overhead storage during the 3-1/2 hour flight.
"The flight attendant came, and she was like, 'You have to put him up there because it's going to block the path, " said Sophia, speaking on behalf of her mother, who isn't fluent in English. "This is not my dog", Swindle said.
United said that despite the puppy owner telling the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrying case, the flight attendant either did not hear or did not understand that there was a pet in the bag, and "did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin". Turbulence prevented the family from checking on the dog, ABC News reported.
Maggie Greeminger, a passenger who witnessed the incident, tried to Google if pets were safe in an overhead compartment before the flight took off. "I want to help this woman and her daughter". Gremminger said the owner was preoccupied by her infant during the flight and did not check on the pet, which fell eerily silent after barking during takeoff and as the plane ascended to its cruising altitude.
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The US Transportation Department "is looking into the circumstances" of the dog's death, an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday. When she found out, the passenger said the attendant "seemed frazzled and shocked". "I slept with him", Sophia said. "She's like, 'He died, died!' And he didn't wake up. she hit his chest so he could breathe, but he wouldn't move".
The $125 fee that Robledo paid for her dog to fly in the cabin and the cost of the airfare have been refunded. "(The flight attendant) was like 'it doesn't matter'". "He was like my brother to me".
Kennedy, in his letter, said United's "pattern of animal deaths and injuries is simply inexcusable".
"We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them", the airline said in a statement.