Dog Dies After United Airlines Attendant Put Him In Overhead Locker During Flight

The airline said it was a 'tragic accident'
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The French Bulldog was killed when an attendant forced his human to put him in an overhead locker

The French Bulldog was killed when an attendant forced his human to put him in an overhead locker

A dog has died on a United Airlines [UA] flight after an attendant put him in the overhead locker in a pet carrier.

The airline has taken full responsibility for the French Bulldog's death on Monday, during a flight from Houston to New York.

A statement from UA said: "This was a tragic accident that should never have happened."

US reports have suggested that while overhead bins are not airtight, a lack of air could be to blame for the death.

Condolences

According to the statement: "We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them.

"We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.

"Pets should never be placed in the overhead bin."

The dog's human companion told one media outlet that she heard the dog crying during the flight, but wasn't able to stand up check on him due to turbulence.

The companion animal died during the flight

The companion animal died during the flight

'Didn't know'

According to reports, after the event, the flight attendant said she 'didn't know' the dog was in the pet carrier.

But eye-witnesses have denied this claim, with fellow passenger Maggie Gremminger telling travel website One Mile at a Time: "I was sitting in the row behind the woman with the dog, and the gentleman next to me witnessed it all as well. We both overheard/saw the interaction between the flight attendant and the passenger.

"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."

US reports have suggested that while overhead bins are not airtight, a lack of air could be to blame for the death.

'Terrifying'

Speaking about the incident, a spokesperson for animal rights charity PETA said: "If reports are true that a United Airlines flight attendant insisted that this dog's guardian put him in the overhead bin, then he or she should be fired and charged with cruelty to animals for this dog's horrific, terrifying death. 

"ETA reminds everyone that it is up to each of us to keep our companion animals safe.

"We should never allow someone to put them in harm's way, including by confining them to a small space with no air flow - no trip is that important."