Family whose dog died in overhead compartment accuses flight attendant of 'lying'

Lloyd Doyle
March 17, 2018

As the family headed from Houston to New York City on United, a flight attendant told them to place their dog, Kokito, in the overhead compartment.

"There were two people behind us who said they had the same dog, and they were like, 'You shouldn't's not common to do this, '" Sophia said, adding that her mom had even asked if she could carry the dog in her lap, but the flight attendant refused.

However, the family say that there is no way they could not have known, given that the dog barked during the flight. There are differing stories about whether or not the flight attendant knew a dog was in the carrier. "And we were like, 'It's a dog, it's a dog".

United accepted responsibility and said the dog should never have been put in the locker.

Last year, 18 animals, mostly dogs, died while being transported on United - three-fourths of all animal deaths on US carriers, according to the Department of Transportation.

"She left crying, saying that she did not know it was a dog, but I told her it was a dog and barked", Robledo told the news outlet.

"She said, "You have to put him up there because it's going to block that path".

United Airlines, under siege over the death, said the flight attendant who ordered the passenger to put her pet carrier in the overhead bin didn't know there was a dog inside. "We couldn't stand up because there was a lot of turbulence so we weren't allowed to", Ceballos described.

Maggie Greeminger, a passenger who witnessed the incident, tried to Google if pets were safe in an overhead compartment before the flight took off. "It's a dog". She's like, "It doesn't matter, you still put it up there". The passenger said the flight attendant seemed shocked to discover the dog inside of the bag.

However, that is not going to bring back the family's treasured pet.

United has been buffeted by a string of recent public relations nightmares, including a passenger being dragged kicking and screaming from an overbooked flight in Chicago.

"I just really miss him", Sophia said.

United told ABC News that it assumes full responsibility for the puppy's death.

United Airlines statement: "This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again". Ceballos says the flight attendant made them store the bag above because it blocked the aisle.

According to Department of Transportation statistics on animal incidents on USA carriers, United has the highest rate of incidents involving loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation, with 2.24 incidents every 10,000 animals transported.

"We don't want the same thing to happen (to other pet owners)", she said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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