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I am almost certain you need to be brain dead to work at United Airlines. The amount of crap that has been going on with this carrier is beyond sad. Most recently a French Bulldog, Kokito, is dead.
Kokito was an 8 month old puppy and in a TSA approved carrier. His owner also paid for him to fly with them in the cabin. The owner, an unnamed woman, was traveling with her two children from Houston to New York. A flight attendant ordered that the dog be put in the overhead carrier. Eye witness Maggie Gremminger recalls the exchange between the pet owner and the United Airlines flight attendant:
“The pet owner was very adamant that she did not want to put the pet carrier up above,” Ms. Gremminger said. “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.”
Unfortunately at the end of the 3 hour flight, Kokito was found lifeless. An autopsy hasn’t been done yet but I surmise the poor dog suffocated to death. In fact, passengers heard the dog barking quite a bit. The poor animal was more than likely gasping for air.
What does United Airlines do? They posted an excuse and a poorly conceived solution:
“We have spoken to the family, our crew and a number of passengers who were seated nearby. We have learned that the customer did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier. However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin. As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident. We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support. To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets. This visual tag will further help our flight attendants identify pets in-cabin.”
Just as The Points Guy points out, United Airlines is putting the responsibility on the gate agents. The bright colored bag tag’s are a weak effort on United Airlines part and I’m unsure how this will solve anything.
An even more egregious aspect is that United Airlines is trying to excuse that their flight attendant didn’t hear or understand the woman. I’m not sure how that’s possible when witnesses saw the woman trying to tell the flight attendant that her dog was in the carrier. Also, let’s be honest, if passengers can hear what the woman is saying surely the flight attendant could hear. Let’s call this for what it is, animal cruelty at it’s worst!