United Airlines is on a roll. A bad roll to be sure, but a roll none-the-less. After literally dragging at least one person off a flight, inexplicably booting others from their flights, and experiencing numerous passenger-flight attendant run-ins, the company is once again beset by animal related problems the likes of which started all its troubles in the first place.
Recently, a United Airlines attendant reportedly forced a woman to put her dog, enclosed in a proper crate, in the overhead compartment, despite the fact she had paid the $125 fee to have the pet on the plane with her. The dog died prior to arrival at their destination.
Shortly thereafter, a family moving from Oregon to Kansas via the Friendly Skies discovered that their dog Irgo, who was being transported by kennel in the cargo hold of a separate plane, never arrived at the Wichita airport. In his place was a Great Dane. The two dogs had been mixed up, and ergo Irgo, a German Shepherd, was shipped to the Great Dane’s destination…Japan. Maybe United thought the Dane would be happier in flat, understated Kansas, while the German canine could be re-United with a fellow Axis power.
By way of explanation, the airline told the woman that the two kennels looked similar. (But not the living beings inside them). That’s as may be, but most airplanes look similar, too, yet they typically arrive at the correct destination. According to the woman, prior to admitting the mistake, the airline showed her paperwork stating that they delivered the correct dog.
To make matters worse, according to KCTV, United told the woman that because Irgo was sent on an international flight, he might have to be quarantined for up to two weeks before he could be flown back.
United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said, “We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened.”
United reported a total of 18 animal deaths in 2017, three times higher than the total number of deaths reported by the other three airlines that documented incidents involving animals. That fauna fatality figure included 12 dogs, three cats, two geckos, and a bird. Various causes of death were reported, including heat stroke and anxiety. One dog escaped from its confinement and was subsequently hit by a vehicle.
They say every dog has its day. But, just to be safe, don’t put yours on a United Airlines flight.