Give A Flying F***

Dog Dies in Overhead Bin…

If you haven’t heard the story yet, a French Bulldog died on a United Airlines flight from Houston to LaGuardia NYC Monday night. The passenger, also traveling with her daughter and infant, was forced by the flight attendant to put her airline-approved carrier in the overhead bin. I am shocked and outraged that this was even an option in this horrendous flight attendant’s mind. The 10-month old French Bulldog was in an airline-approved carrier and had his TSA-approved pet ticket, in compliance with the airlines rules. A live creature in the overhead bin is illegal.

This incident should have NEVER happened and could have been completely avoided with a little bit of common sense.

  • Why did the flight attendant demand that a living creature be stored in an overhead bin with obviously no air and ventilation?
  • WHY did the owner agree? It looks like she refused at first but then eventually complied as she did not want to get thrown off the flight–trust me, I would’ve stormed out of that plane with my dogs and called some lawyers ASAP.
  • Why didn’t anyone else say anything or check on the dog during the 3 hour flight?? Especially after the dog was heard crying for help??

A passenger named Maggie Gremminger publicly spoke out about what happened. Here are her words of exactly what happened:

“I was in seat 24A, the woman (mother) was 23C, with her young teenage daughter in seat 23B. The mother had a young daughter and a newborn.

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. A fellow passenger offered to hold the newborn while the mother was crying on the floor aisle with the dog. it was this out of body experience of grief.

But holy **** I don’t know how the hell this happened. The flight attendant wouldn’t even NEED to hear there was a dog in the carrier. She was right there looking at the TSA approved bag. (The dog carrier is the black on the ground in the photo. It is clearly a carrier with mesh, which makes me question how the flight attendant could say she didn’t know there was a dog)

I feel angry and powerless and regretful. I know clearly this was not an intent of anyone and yet that flight attendant is responsible for this. How were we to know that maybe there wasn’t a new ventilation system in those bins? It’s not our job to know this information.

I understand emotional distress in a different way right now. I can’t get the image out of my head of the woman on the floor of the airplane aisle, crying and holding that sweet dog.

Immediately after the flight landed, myself and another witness stayed to speak with various United employees. The flight attendant denied knowing it was a dog, but the man seated next to me said he heard the flight attendant respond to the passenger “you need to put your dog up here” – therefore admitting that she knew an animal was in there. Additionally, I’ve been in touch with United via private message on Twitter.

They publicly replied asking me to message them – once private messaging them I shared my confirmation # and flight info. They replied:

“We appreciate you reaching out with more information. Please know that we are in contact with the passenger and thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

I also was offered $75 in credit (along with the gentleman witness) for staying and working with them to share our recollection of events. We both refused the credit.”

 

We have a right to be angry. I’ve been upset about it all day.

But we should also, as a whole, get smarter and braver to ensure that something like this NEVER happens.

Remember, making the choice of being a dog owner means having a voice for your dog as well!

Next time you fly with your animal, make sure of the following:

  1. Be proactive before your flight and follow the TSA guidelines. Get the correct health certificates, pet fees and anything else to ensure you have a smooth check-in process.
  2. Question authority if you’re in the right and make sure you never place your dog in danger! Step 1 comes in handy when you’ve done your due diligence and know you’re in the right. C’mon; if someone tells you (even the pilot!) to put your dog in a small airless overhead bin, say NO and/or LEAVE!
  3. If you see something like this happening to somebody else, stand up, speak up and alert the correct people. Their dog’s life may depend on it.
  4. Remember, flying is not always the best option. If you know you and/or your dog will be uncomfortable, find another way.

 

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