We can’t believe we’re saying this, but United Airlines has made yet another big mistake. In January, a woman was removed from a United flight due to a ticketing error when she was trying to make it home in time to see her dying mother. In February, a United employee freaked out over a passenger’s carry-on for literally no reason. And now, we’re devastated to report that the airline has met yet another massive mistake.
On Monday, March 12th, Catelina Robledo and her 11-year-old daughter Sophia Ceballos boarded United Airlines Flight 1284 from Houston to New York City. They had extremely precious cargo with them: their French bulldog named Kokito. When a flight attendant said that Kokito’s carrier was partially blocking the aisle, they were forced to put the pup in the overhead compartment, leaving the dog without water or air. They protested but did not get their way.
“My mom was like, ‘It’s a dog, it’s a dog,'” Ceballos told NBC Chicago. “And [the flight attendant] said, ‘You have to put it up there.'”
During the 3.5-hour flight, Robledo, Ceballos, and fellow passengers were on edge about Kokito’s health.
“We were really worried,” Ceballos continued. “He barked in the middle of the flight, and there was a lot of turbulence, so we couldn’t get him.”
Sadly, when the United Airlines flight landed, they opened the overhead compartment to face the worst: Kokito had died.
A passenger sitting behind Robledo and Ceballos shared her account of what happened on Facebook. She also included a disturbing photo of Kokito after the flight.
Another passenger, Maggie Gremminger, shared the story to raise awareness about pet travel too.
United Airlines apologized and takes full responsibility for the serious error in judgment.
They also refunded the family’s airline tickets and the $200 fee they paid to bring Kokito on board. But that can’t change that they made a huge mistake.
Our hearts are with Catelina and Sophia. Squeeze your pups extra tight today, and maybe think twice about flying United with your furry friend.