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  1. #1
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
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    Puppy dies in overhead bin on United

    I don't like posting about sad things, but I am so upset about this, and I know there are a lot of dog lovers here.

    The news media has started widely reporting the story about a 10-month-old French bulldog puppy who was in a soft-sided pet carrier that was forced by a United flight attendant to be placed in the overhead bin -- to the objection of the owner. When the family landed on the Houston-to-LaGuardia flight, they found the dog had died.

    There are a lot of articles (just search for "United Airlines dog") but here's a sample, from the New York Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/b...-dead-dog.html

    There are also at least two different posts on social media from passengers who witnessed the initial incident with the flight attendant insisting the pet carrier had to be placed in the overhead, even though the owner says her dog is in it.

    United has publically apologized and "taken responsibility" but supposedly, the flight attendant didn't know there was an animal in the carrier. Excuse me.... it's a soft-sided airline-approved pet carrier, and the owner is SAYING her dog is in there. I'm calling shenanigans on that one.

  2. #2
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    Yet another reason to never fly United.
    Ever.

  3. #3
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    What is with United?

  4. #4
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    This is one disturbing story for sure.

    I have never thought about the overhead being air tight but can not imagine what might have happened either to kill the dog?
    They even showed its picture with all 4 legs in the air just in case you weren't disturbed enough just by the story?

    The Stewards story is pretty pathetic it seems to me and there was a plane full of witnesses as well.

    That was one cute dog too.

  5. #5
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    That flight attendant needs to be stuffed in an overhead bin on a long-haul flight.

    Criminal animal cruelty charges need to be filed in this case.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  6. #6
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    And now United seems to have "Misplaced" a different doggie as well?

    They were shipping a German Shepard from CA to MO but it went to Japan instead and somehow they delivered someone else Great Dane to the Shepard's Kansas City owner!

    Huh????

  7. #7
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    Now United is claiming the FA didn't know there was a dog in the kennel. Witnesses said they heard the passenger tell the flight attendant there was a dog in it and barking could be heard from the overhead bin. The airline says the FA is "devistated."

    There is now a criminal investigation regarding animal cruelty.

    And to add to United's woes....more dogs (18) died last year under their care than any other U.S. airline.

    Let's see....they ruin guitars, they drag passengers off planes, they kill dogs. I guess United isn't trying to win any customer service awards.
    As long as they are on time and make a profit they couldn't care less.

    United will get through this by running a sale where people will flock to buy tickets. Sadly, most passengers care only about ticket prices and not any bad press an airline might get.
    Last edited by Frank II; 03-15-2018 at 06:45 AM.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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  8. #8
    Forum Member sujo's Avatar
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    I’m not sure if I can say this correctly but these issues appear to be symptoms of a larger problem.

    I think the thing in play is the frustration of the flight attendants trying to get everyone on board and all luggage stowed away on these ever increasing, jammed-pack flights.

    This does not – repeat, DOES NOT – excuse them from being so ridged in their stance or oblivious to the nature of an issue that they cannot consider the well-being of passengers and animals. But I think it is a symptom of a real problem. Flight Attendants and gate agents (let’s not forget them!) get to the point of just wanting to get people in seats and get the plane in the air with all other considerations marginalized.

    Airlines have lots of rules in place about baggage - what is allowed on the plane (whether carry-on or checked), size of carry-on and personal items, how to carry on pets, etc. Passengers constantly push the boundaries of those rules but the enforcement of them is very gray. If something is not caught at the gate, it becomes the FAs problem. At that point, the FAs seem to kind of lose perspective, just wanting the problem gone at whatever cost.

    The gate agents should be the first line of enforcement, negating some of these issues before people board. They should be monitoring what is going on in the boarding area. However, there never seems to be enough of them. There should be one or two to handle customers and one person dedicated to checking carry-ons. Not all flights, but airlines know what will be their daily, over-booked flights and the ones that will be on tight schedules.

    This “carry-on” agent should call-out overlarge items and tag them by having people use the sizer. There also should be a special tag or code on seat assignments that indicate if a person is traveling with a pet. I think they have something like that for children traveling alone. All this could be done before anyone boards.

    Again, this would be mainly for the busy travel times. It would keep everyone honest.

    The key is communication between the gate agents and the flight attendants. And as I said, I think the answer is more attention (more airline employees) at the boarding gate.

  9. #9
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    To add to the insightful comments above I am really not at all OK with people bringing pets on board inside the cabin in the first place honestly.

    I know many are attached to pets in a way that causes them to violate others space with them and somehow decide that this behavior is alright but I am not one of those people or one that endorses this at all inside the already cramped and compromised quarters that are our airways these days.
    To me this is rude and inappropriate and in general simply selfish behavior and it should not be an option for those of us who want to fly but not with animals in the plane.
    I am not speaking about legitimate service animals at all.

    But since the rules do allow for this and the comfort and safety of all passengers is what we are paying the ticket price to get there is no real excuse for what happened to this dog on this flight and the FA not understanding the language being spoken is in my mind also not a legit excuse.

    Does the notion of common sense just escape people in the quest to avoid responsibility for their actions?

  10. #10
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    I would pay more to be on flights without children. Pets are fine with me - although I would not ever put my own through the stress of air travel. I find air travel in general to be so distasteful due to rudeness, unruly children, arbitrary and whimsical rules, and lack of efficiency - that I drive if where I am going is not overseas or more than 3 days of a drive to get there.

    This thing about the puppy is criminal. Did they give the family the opportunity to deplane and figure something else out? To me, if they let the family board the plane with the puppy, then the flight attendant needs to be arrested and charged with animal abuse.
    Last edited by spcanf; 03-15-2018 at 04:09 PM.

  11. #11
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    A U.S. Congressman said he will introduce a bill in Congress tomorrow that would make it illegal to put pets in an overhead bin. He hopes Congress will act quickly so it never happens again.

    Seventeen kids get killed in their school and Congress does nothing.

    ???????
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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  12. #12
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    On my recent flight from Florida, I sat next to a couple with a puppy. They had an approved airplane pet carrier and had purchased a ‘ticket’ for the puppy to ride on the airplane under the seat. I flew Delta not United, but it was a totally legit thing and cost the owners a couple hundred dollars to transport the puppy that way. I transported a puppy myself when my husband and I moved back to the mainland from Hawaii in 1988 so it isn’t a new thing either. When I did it, the dog + the carrier had to be able to fit under the seat, it counted as my carry on and it cost us $150 in 1988 dollars.
    This current unhappy event could have been a ‘service animal’ owner pushing the envelope, or it could have been a ticketed animal transport all above board and legit. I also know that little French bulldogs are super sensitive to heat/stuffiness/close quarters because of how their face and neck have developed, so this poor little guy was at a huge risk to start with.

  13. #13
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    Not excusing behavior here, but I think most of the flying public also does not realize that flight attendants are not paid until the door is closed... And stop being paid once the door is open again.

  14. #14
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    Not excusing behavior here, but I think most of the flying public also does not realize that flight attendants are not paid until the door is closed... And stop being paid once the door is open again.
    That seems to depend on the airline: https://thepointsguy.com/2015/10/how...tendants-paid/

    According to the article it is true for United, though.

  15. #15
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    There are some breeds (dogs and I think also cats) that aren't allowed to be transported in the hold; if I remember right, it's the breeds with very short noses because they're prone to respiratory issues.

    I flew with my cat five years ago when we moved cross country. I had to pay about a hundred dollars to add him to my ticket, and his carrier needed to fit under the seat; he was also supposed to be under a certain weight, but no one weighed him. (Thank goodness. He was about two pounds over the supposed limit.) There was a limit of two animals per cabin, so if a few other people had booked an animal ticket before me I would have had to choose a different flight.

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