Tragedy On United Airlines Leaves Pet Owner Mourning

Pet owners always have a dilemma at vacation time. Do you leave man’s best friend to be pet sat or in a kennel, or do you face risk and cost to bring them along?

Most pets are a part of the family, so bringing them along may be an easy choice.

There is a level of assumption when you follow travel guidelines during your trip, that your pet is going to be kept safe and made a priority like every other paying patron on board.

With one airline that is not the case. Negligence and unprofessionalism caused one family to face the worst with their furry friend on board.

CBS News reported:

“Outrage has been building on social media over a picture of a family’s French bulldog puppy, dead in its carrier, after a United Airlines flight attendant forced them to put the bag holding the dog in an overhead bin.”

Catalina Robledo, her newborn son, along with daughter Sophia, and their French Bulldog were flying United Airlines from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

The flight was approximately four hours. During which, a flight attendant saw the dog carrier sticking out a little from the seat and told Robledo to put the bag in the overhead bin for safety reasons.

Robledo tried to defend her right to keep the dog under the seat in his carrier, but the flight attendant would not take heed to her pleas.

Fox News reported:

Passenger Maggie Gremminger told The New York Times that Robledo was insistent that the dog carrier should stay by her side, to no avail.

The pet owner was very adamant that she did not want to put the pet carrier up above,” Gremminger said. “She was saying verbally, ‘My dog is in here, no, this is my dog.’ The flight attendant, in response, really just continued to ask her to put it above because it was a hazard where it was, it was a safety emergency, someone could trip.”

After the live animal was put into the overhead bin, the dog was heard barking repeatedly. Help was sought by the anxious family, but no one came.

Fox News reported more on the negligence of the airline:

While we were flying, the dog started barking and barking and there was no flight attendants coming. We couldn’t stand up because there was a lot of turbulence so we weren’t allowed to,” Sophia Ceballos, speaking on behalf of her mother, Catalina Robledo, told ABC 13.

Ceballos said that attempts to inform the flight attendant of the severity of the situation during the four-hour flight from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport to New York’s LaGuardia Airport were unsuccessful.”

When the flight landed, Robledo quickly took down the pet carrier to check on her French Bulldog and was shocked to find the beloved pet, Kokito, dead.

Robledo and her daughter were extremely distraught. A nearby passenger even lent their hand to help the grieving owners.

Fox News reported on a passenger named Gremminger, who commented on the horrific scene:

Gremminger said that she and her fellow travelers were horrified to learn the animal had died later in the trip, according to People.

“A stranger offered to hold her newborn while she sat on the floor, there in the airplane aisle. She was holding her dog and rocking back and forth. Her daughter was also crying,” she told the publication about the scene following the discovery.” 

The flight attendant who demanded the dog be put in the storage area seemed “frazzled” after the dog was found dead, according to Fox News, and tried to claim that she was unaware that there was a dog in the carrier.

Many witnesses, including the daughter of Robledo, claims the flight attendant was lying, as seen in video footage taken after the incident, reported Fox News.

The daughter’s testimony was in addition to nearby witnesses attesting that Robledo begged the attendant to let her dog stay under the seat.

TSA has specific guidelines for carrying a pet on board an aircraft, which the unfortunate pet owner was indeed in full compliance with.

United has claimed responsibility for the tragic event and has tried to offer Robledo monetary compensation, according to ABC.

United Airlines has an issue that extends beyond this specific incident that will have them going bankrupt if they continue to offer mourning pet owners money instead of fixing the problem.

A report from the Department of Transportation shows United with the highest amount of animal deaths and injuries, among all the airlines,  in 2017.

With the growing number of negative incidents among airlines in the past couple of years, between crashes, passenger mistreatment, and animal deaths, airlines are going to have to revamp the industry to gain the public’s trust back.

Please let us know in the comments section what you think the airline should do to try and make up for the incident, and if you have had any airline mishaps happen recently.

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