United Airlines says the airline is changing its pet policy after the in-flight death of a French bulldog puppy earlier this week. United said in a statement the flight attendant did not knowingly put a dog in the overhead bin and that she didn't understand or hear the pet's owner when they told her their dog was inside the carrier.
The airline now says that beginning next month, it will "issue brightly colored tags for carry-on bags containing animals, and the airline is apologizing again for this latest mistake", as CBS News reported. VIDEO: 'He couldn't breathe:' Family speaks out after dog dies on United flight to New York City A statement from prosecutors said they won't decide if criminal charges are warranted until the investigation is completed.
When Catalina Castano boarded United Flight 1284 from Houston to NY with her 11-year-old daughter, two-month old newborn and beloved French Bulldog puppy Kokito she didn't expect any problems.
According to the dog's family and other witnesses on the plane, a flight attendant demanded that the pet's owners place the carrier inside the overhead bin for the duration of the flight.
She found Kokito dead inside the carrier when the flight landed in NY. That dog's owner said the company tried to give them a Great Dane when they showed up for their dog.
"They're incredible dogs", she said.
Alaska Airlines, which carries only 17 percent fewer animals, had just two deaths previous year.
"I would be surprised to know that United Airlines could really get away with this notion that they didn't know an animal was on that flight or where on the flight this animal was located", said Roe. Of the 24 reported deaths of animals that were in the process of being transported on major US air carriers a year ago, 18 occurred on United. "And we were like, 'It's a dog, it's a dog.' And she said, 'It doesn't matter, you still have to put it up there'".
So says the U.S. Department of Transportation. According to the US Department of Transportation, just over half a million pets flew in cargo in 2016 and of those, 26 died and 22 were injured.
The DOT reports consider only animals carried in planes' cargo holds, Hobart said, which is the typical accommodation when an animal isn't brought into the cabin. Pets are loaded last and taken off the plane first after landing, he said.
United did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.
The report found that of the 24 animals that have died 18 did so while being handled by United. Some animals were deemed to have died of natural causes, others from cardiac problems or gastric dilation, a condition associated with eating too much.
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