United Airlines apologise after dog dies in overhead locker during flight

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United Airlines has apologised after the death of a pet dog which was stowed in an overhead luggage compartment at the request of a flight attendant.

In Monday's episode, the pet owner discovered her dog was dead shortly after the plane landed at La Guardia Airport. "However, the flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water", another passenger, June Lara, wrote on Facebook. "We assume full responsiblity for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them".

"They assured the safety of the family's pet so wearily, the mother agreed", Lara wrote.

I don't have a dog but my mom and dad do and I just can't imagine if this would ever happen.

According to fellow passenger Maggie Gremminger, the woman wanted to keep the dog, which was in a small carrying bag, under her seat, but the flight attendant insisted that she put the animal overhead.

The airline issued a similar apology last August when a dog died in the cargo hold of a plane that was delayed on the tarmac for two hours with temperatures over 90°F inside.

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"She sat in the airplane aisle on the floor crying, and all of surrounding passengers were utterly stunned".

The flight attendant, Gremminger said, seemed shaken by the incident as well. They lost their dog because of an @united flight attendant.

United Airlines told NBC 5 in Chicago it was a "tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin". "My heart is broken", the post on Twitter read. United said it was investigating who had put the dog in the overhead compartment and why.

Last year, 18 animals died while being transported on United - there were six cases on all other USA carriers combined, according to the Department of Transportation.

The incident, CBS reported, violates United's policy that instructs passengers to put pets in kennels that can fit underneath the seats in front of them. Earlier in the year, Simon the three-foot-long rabbit also died after a United Airlines flight.