NEW YORK (CBSLA) — United Airlines has confirmed that a passenger’s dog died after being stored in the overhead bin Monday during a flight from Houston, Texas to New York City’s Laguardia Airport.
A passenger on board United Airlines Flight 1284 posted about the incident on Facebook.
“The flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water,” passenger June Lara’s post reads in part. “They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow. They assured the safety of the family’s pet so wearily, the mother agreed.”
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Once the plane had landed, Lara said the dog was unresponsive.
“This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” said United Airlines spokesperson Maggie Schmerin in a 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.”
The airline’s pet policy states that “domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds” are permitted in the aircraft cabin on most flights within the U.S. with a $125 service fee. United requires that all in-cabin pets “be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel.”
The policy goes on to state that “the kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.”