Dog dies during United Airlines flight after being stowed in ‘hand luggage’.
A small dog had died after a flight attendant forced it into the overhead storage for a 3-1/2 hour flight.
The French bulldog was traveling with her owner Catelina Robledo and her children.
Robledo had payed the $125 pet fee to bring her pet on the flight, and carried Kokito on in a pet carrier bag.
At first she stowed him under the seat, but was then pressured by the flight attendant to stow him in the overhead bin.
Also traveling with her newborn baby, Robledo says she was unable to get up and check on the dog for the duration of the flight.
The flight was a three and a half hour journey from Houston to New York, which experienced a lot of turbulence.
United Airlines say they take full responsibility for the incident.
They have issued a statement saying:
“This was a tragic accident that should never have happened,”
“We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them,”
The flight attendant in question has since revealed that she didn’t realize at the time the pet carrier contained the dog, but the owners have stated otherwise.
Robledo’s daughter, eleven year old Sophie Ceballos who had received the dog for her birthday said:
“My mom was like, ‘It’s a dog, it’s a dog,'”
“And [the flight attendant] said, ‘You have to put it up there.'”
The airline added:
“We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again. Pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,”
More shocked witnesses from the flight have come forward to explain what happened in the tragic incident.
Kokito’s owner Ms Robledo said:
“The dog barked and barked but I could not stand,”
Maggie Gremminger, who was a passenger on the flight seated behind Ms Robledo saw the incident unfold.
“I witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a woman to put her dog carrier with live dog in an overhead bin,”
“The passenger adamantly pushed back, sharing verbally that her dog was in the bag.
“The flight attendant continued to ask the passenger to do it, and she eventually complied.
“By the end of the flight, the dog was dead. The woman was crying in the airplane aisle on the floor.”
United Airlines also hit headlines last year when a passenger on an over-booked plane was dragged off as he fought to stay on the plane.