Dog Dies After United Flight Attendant Insists It Be Stowed In Overhead Bin

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It’s one of those stories that you almost cannot believe–a flight attendant asking a passenger to put her dog in the overhead luggage bins, and more–the passenger doing so.

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But that’s what happened on United flight 1284 from Houston to New York Laguardia, and witnesses say that the flight attendant was way out of line and fully responsible for the dog’s death.

According to witnesses behind the owners of the dog, the United flight attendant told a mother with a young child and newborn to put her dog carrier (with her visibly live dog) in the overhead bin. The woman told her she couldn’t do that, as her dog was in the carrier bag but the flight attendant kept telling her to do so. Eventually, the woman agreed to do so, continually telling the attendant it wasn’t safe.

And as suspected, at the end of the flight? The dog was dead. According to witness Maggie Gremminger who sat a row away from the incident, the woman lay in the airplane aisle floor crying, while passengers held her newborn. The witnesses all agree that not only could one hear the dog in the carrier, but the bag it was carried in was a TSA animal approved carrier. How the flight attendant can still claim, as she was, that she did not know there was a live dog in the bag was unknown to the several traumatized witnesses.

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Witnesses stayed after to speak with United Employees, while the attendant continued to claim not knowing the dog was in the bag and alive, but a man seated a row away said he heard the flight attendant tell the passenger to specifically put her dog up there, meaning the bin, and fully aware it was alive.

For their part, United offered $75 in credit to the witnesses who contacted them, as well as those who stayed to help get the truth about the situation out. The witnesses refused the credit, and say they’ve been traumatized watching that poor woman mourn her dead dog in the aisle.

United claims this to be a tragic accident that should never have happened, and though they claim full responsibility for the death of the dog–what does that mean? How much common sense should it take for a trained flight attendant to know you don’t put live creatures in luggage bins? And what reconciliation can ever replace a beloved family member, or replace the images that family will forever have etched in their minds?

We can’t imagine, and our hearts go out to the family who lost their family member, as well as the passengers who had to witness such a horrible loss.