'Tragic accident': Dog forced into overhead bin dies on United f

Jeannie Matthews
March 14, 2018

The dog, a black French bulldog that was traveling in a pet carrier, was placed in the compartment shortly before United Flight 1284 left Houston for NY around 6 p.m. Monday, said Maggie Gremminger, 30, who was seated behind the pet owner. She initially placed the dog under the seat in front of her. A passenger the paper spoke with, June Lara, wrote on Facebook the flight attendant "felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water".

'We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them.

"They assured the safety of the family's pet so wearily, the mother agreed", Lara wrote.

United Airlines have branded the death of a dog forced to travel in an overhead bin "a tragic accident". "I heard the dog barking a little and we didn't realise it was barking a cry for help".

The woman initially placed the carrier under the seat in front of her, but the flight attendant told her she needed to put the bag, including the dog, in the overhead compartment for the entirety of the flight.

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"The passenger adamantly pushed back, sharing verbally that her dog was in the bag".

United said it was taking responsibility for the incident on the Monday night flight, saying pets should never be put in the overhead storage compartment.

The flight attendant, Gremminger said, seemed shaken by the incident as well. "Her daughter was also crying", she said. "They lost their dog because of an [U] nited flight attendant. My heart is broken", Maggie Gremminger tweeted. 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.

Although, overhead lockers are not air-tight, lack of oxygen could have been the cause of the dog's death, U.S. media report. United's pet policy reads as follows: "A Pet travelling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel".

A spokesperson for United said the airline will investigate the dog's death "to prevent this from ever happening again".

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