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Dog Dies on United Airlines Flight After Being Forced Into Overhead Compartment

A family is mourning the death of their beloved ten-month-old puppy after yet another United Airlines pet scandal. Catalina Robledo, her eleven-year-old daughter Sofia, and two month old infant took Coquito, a French Bulldog, on a flight from Houston, TX to New York City on March 12; they paid the $125 pet fee for the small dog to travel with them in the cabin of the plane.

 

Upon being seated, nearby passenger Maggie Gremminger witnessed the flight attendant approaching Ms. Robledo and informing her that she needed to stow the dog in the overhead compartment of the plane because the carrier was not fitting completely under the seat in front of her.

 

Gremminger remembers: “After the flight attendant asked her to move it above, the woman [Robledo] adamantly refused, communicating her dog was in the bag. There was some back and forth before finally the flight attendant convinced her to move the carrier to the bin above.”

Gremminger recounts that it was a hard situation for the dog owner, who risked being kicked off the flight with her young children if she continued to argue with the flight attendant about the dog and ultimately chose to place the dog in the overhead compartment, where she was assured that he would be perfectly safe.

 

During the flight, Gremminger heard the dog bark for over half an hour. Upon arrival in New York City, Coquito’s devastated owner discovered that he had died during the flight. Robledo sat on the floor of the plane sobbing and begging the puppy to breathe.

 

When United Airlines employees responded to the distressed woman, they offered support to the grieving family;  the flight attendant claimed to be unaware that there had been a dog in the bag that she had instructed them to store above, despite him being contained in a standard dog carrier.

 

When approached for comment by People, United Airlines spokesperson Maggie Schmerin released this statement: “This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. 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.”

 

Unfortunately this is one more tragedy in the growing string of pet related incidents involving United Airlines in the last year.

 

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