United announces new pet policy after dog dies in overhead bin


United Airlines unveiled a new pet policy days after a dog died after being forced into an overhead bin.

The airlines said in a statement Wednesday that it accepted full responsibility for the pet’s death and announced a new plan to issue brightly colored tags to customers traveling with pets, ABC News reported.

United claimed that there was a language barrier that prevented the flight attendant from understanding the customer who warned that there was a dog in the carrier. The customers have disputed that claim.


A 10-month-old French bulldog named Kokito died on a flight from Houston to New York on Tuesday while traveling with a mother and daughter. 

The 11-year-old daughter, Sophia Ceballos, told ABC News that her mother, Catalina Robledo, isn’t fluent in English but said the flight attendant knew there was a dog in the carrier.

“She actually touched the bag and felt him there,” Ceballos said. “She’s basically lying to us now.”

United said the brightly colored tags will begin being distributed by April and will help staff easily recognize pets traveling in the cabin, the statement said.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has demanded that the airline release more details about the incident. 

Eighteen out of the 24 pets that died on major airlines last year were in the care of United, Kennedy said, citing the Department of Transportation.

Kennedy on Wednesday tweeted that he would be filing a bill Thursday that would “prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins,” noting that violators would “face significant fines.” 

Tags airlines customer service Airport dogs flying Houston John Kennedy John Kennedy New York United Airlines
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