Published: Wed, March 21, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

United Suspends Pet Service Following Multiple Animal Deaths

United Suspends Pet Service Following Multiple Animal Deaths

This comes after a United flight attendant reportedly told a passenger to place their dog in the overhead bin, which resulted in the animal's death. While United reviews everything, the airline will not be accepting any new reservations for pets traveling in cargo, but it will honor existing reservations.

The review is expected to be completed by May 1. Customers who want to cancel or rebook pets' travel during the review will be allowed to.

"We are deeply committed to the safety and comfort of the animals and pets in our care", United said in a statement.

The airline says it's taking time to review its pet program to ensure incidents like these don't happen again.

United Airlines says it's putting a stop to the shipping of unaccompanied pets on its flights.

All three pets have since been reunited with their owners - but a Queens family wasn't as lucky when their beloved French bulldog apparently suffocated aboard a Houston-to-New York City flight. The airline said the flight attendant "did not hear or understand" the dog's owner when she said there was a dog in the carrier.

Kokito died on a United flight after being placed in the overhead bin
Kokito died on a United flight after being placed in the overhead bin

The move does not affect pets flying in the cabin with their owners.

The bulldog puppy was not traveling as part of the PetSafe program, but the animal's death - and the ensuing social media ire - prompted federal officials, criminal investigators, lawmakers, and animal-rights advocates to ask tough questions of United and its poor record for safely transporting animals.

In 2017, United accounted for 78% of all animal-related mishaps among major U.S. airlines, despite accounting for just 27% of all animal transportation, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets".

United Continental Holdings Inc is halting reservations for its animal transport service after drawing worldwide scorn in recent weeks for the death of a dog and other miscues in handling pets.

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