By Grace Vasquez
As a pet owner, I would never place my precious cargo in a crate and fly them because it is well known it is too traumatic and many do not survive. In this case, a puppy was carried on to the flight but an airline attended insisted that the passenger place the doggie in an overhead bin. This story ends tragically.
United Airlines says it’s taking responsibility for the death of a dog on a flight from Houston to New York Monday night. A United flight attendant had ordered that the small dog in a carrier had to be put in an overhead bin. It didn’t survive the flight.
United is saying this was a “tragic accident” that shouldn’t have happened. It also gave its condolences to the family, and said it would investigate the incident…adding that they will refund the cost of the family’s tickets and pay for a necropsy (that’s an autopsy for animals).
While the flight attendant has reportedly said she didn’t know that the bag in question contained a live animal, at least one witness disagrees. Passenger Maggie Gremminger has taken to Facebook to say the crew absolutely knew. “The passenger adamantly refused but the flight attendant went on with instruction,” Ms Gremminger writes. “At the end of the flight — the dog was found (dead) in the carrier.”
United has had other animal deaths recently, including a dog in August and a giant rabbit in April. According to the Department of Transportation, United has the highest number of animal deaths of any U.S. carrier at 18, a rate of 2.24 per 10,000 transported animals. American and Delta each reported that two animals died last year on their planes.
Anyone who loves animals feels Maggie’s pain. I can’t even fathom what she must be going through and the guilt that must be overwhelming. When will airlines use common sense when it comes to animals especially doggies already in carry on cases.