Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

United to stop carrying animals in cargo compartments temporarily

United to stop carrying animals in cargo compartments temporarily

"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", the airline wrote in a press release.

United's policy calls for small pets in containers to be stored beneath a seat near the passenger when flying in the cabin. But United won't accept any more reservations for pets until the review is completed, which is expected by May 1.

Two days later, another United flight traveling from Newark to St. Louis made an unplanned landing in OH after crew members realized a dog meant to do to Akron had been mistakenly been loaded onto the craft's cargo.

The second incident involved a PetSafe-fare dog accidentally shipped to Japan instead of Kansas City, Missouri, after a mix-up United said happened in Denver.

The German shepherd was ultimately returned to its family.

United Airlines is the airline company with the most animal deaths in the past five years.

United spokesman Charles Hobart said the airline is looking to improve the program, not get rid of it.

Another public relations fiasco had United weathering public ire and congressional hearings previous year for having a man dragged off a plane. The airline also was sued last summer over the death of a giant rabbit on a flight from London to Chicago.

We will honor any existing PetSafe reservations confirmed as of March 20, 2018, although we will assist any customer that wishes to cancel their reservation.

These incidents followed a Monday public relations nightmare in which a French bulldog puppy died after a United flight attendant ordered the owner to put the dog's carrying case in overhead storage during the 3-1/2 hour flight.

"To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets". The family and other passengers dispute that account.

"This visual tag will further help our flight attendants identify pets in-cabin", the company said.

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