United Suspends Flying Animals in Cargo, is Reviewing Animal Policy after Dog Mix-Ups and Death

United Suspends Flying Animals in Cargo, is Reviewing Animal Policy after Dog Mix-Ups and Death

Following several major incidents involving animals, United Airlines is temporarily suspending all pet transport inside the cargo holds of its airplanes. Although they will honor existing bookings, they will not accept new reservations.

“We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets,” said a statement released by the airline this week. “To achieve this outcome, we will partner with independent experts in pet safety, comfort and travel.”

This follows the death of a 10-month-old French bulldog named Kokito, who was forced to travel in the overhead locker and did not survive the trip. The tragedy spurred international outcry, including an LFT petition you can sign here:

SIGN: Justice for Dog Who Died after being Forced to Fly in Overhead Bin

In the same week, the airline accidentally swapped dogs and flew a German Shepherd to Japan, instead of Kansas.

Astoundingly, a third incident occurred that same week, with the airline diverting a flight when they realized that they had loaded a dog onto the wrong plane.

After Kokito’s needless death, United announced they would give out brightly coloured luggage tags to help identify pets who travel alongside their guardians inside the cabin. That, along with their latest announcement of a thorough pet transport policy review, is a promising first step.

Still, United has a very, very long way to go. Responsible for an astonishing 18 of 24 animal deaths aboard US airlines last year, the company must undergo major policy changes to protect animals onboard. We will continue pressuring United to take meaningful action to ensure that all species can fly safely on their planes.



Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

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14 Comments

  1. Lynne

    I cannot imagine in my wildest imagination understand why a trained flight attendant not realize the danger of putting a small dog in an overhead bin. An employee should have know to place the carrier under a seat. There is no air in the overhead bin as this poor dog and its family found out. So very sad and stupid. Don’t plan on using United

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  2. cindi scholefield

    Personally I am finished with United. And will not recommend it to anyone. If you don’t care about animals, you don’t care about people.

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  3. yvonne

    i do agree that United needs to address this very serious Issue something is clearly very wrong with their protocol and the training of their employees However my understanding is that no animal with United is to be put in any cabin overhead bin If that is true then what was this flight attendant thinking I believe this person showed lack of concern for this little dog and anyone would know this animal would suffocate in an enclosed bin. I feel no one has addressed this. my personal opinion is she or he should be fired and relieved of the uniform

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  4. Kylie T

    So sad to read what has already happened.

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  5. Anya

    Time to let dogs and pets travel with their owners ! Can be done. Poor Kokito and others dogs and animal that suffered through this. Human being make too many rules that causes problems.

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  6. Debbie

    Hold Kokito’s killers to account for causing death by suffocation and trauma and denying Kokito air and food and water. We want justice for Kokito. Punish the evil steward(s) who killed Kokito. They must be prosecuted and their names put on an Animal Abuse Register and banned from contact with any animal again. They/he/she must be banned from working for an airline again. The individual must be named and shamed. Sweet talk is not enough. We want the killers held to account for causing the death of Kokito. How many times has the same sadistic animal killer done this before?

    If it was not for the low life animal killers being out of order and lacking empathy and making such an unsafe and insane decision, Kokito would be alive today. I would like to personally shove the killers in an overhead bin and let them suffocate to death. This is what they deserve for being so evil.

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  7. Carolyn Denton

    United and all airlines need to understand that animals are passengers, just the same as humans.They deserve and are entitled to the same level of care.You wouldn’t allow a baby or child to be transported in any conditions that were not safe and comfortable so treat your animals passengers the same way.

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  8. Podgie

    I hope the morons who caused Kokito’s needless death have been summarily sacked and will be prosecuted under whatever animal welfare laws exist.

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  9. Leanne

    The friendly skies ay? The not so friendly skies you mean!! 🐶🐕🐩🐾✈🛩🛫🛬💺😠

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  10. j trapani

    We should not fail to monitor this airline and what they are doing. Talk is cheap. Action takes work. Let’s keep following them as time goes on.

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  11. lynne1238

    It isn’t rocket science. dogs suffocate if put in overhead bins. HELLO!
    Sympathy to families whose trusted this airline

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  12. JR

    It’s high time these idiots get their act together. They are by far the worst animal caretakers in the industry. Fine them heavily until they stop abusing all animals.

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  13. Misty

    It takes the suffocation death of an innocent dog and dog’s put on the incorrect flight for United to step up?
    #boycottunited
    Animals are family. Animal’s are God’s blessing.

    Reply Report comment

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