Dog dies after airline worker has it placed in overhead bin

United Airlines has taken full responsibility for the tragedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United has suffered a string of incidents that generated bad publicity in the last two years, including the violent removal of a passenger from a United Express plane to make room for a crew member, and the death of a giant rabbit — its Iowa owners sued the airline, which they said cremated the animal to destroy evidence about the cause of death.

David Koenig, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley Memorial hockey tournament honours seven families united by tragedy

Fifteen Midget C teams anxious to play in an event that’s second to none for emotion and excitement

Canadian Road Trip on the agenda

Fuller Lake Skating Club taking audience on a memorable excursion

International students staying in Washington pass through Chemainus

Rotary club group guests of honour for lunch at the Legion Hall

‘Reasonable’ tax increases a sign of an election year

We’re the losers for increases in the last 10 years

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 16, 2018

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read