A dog died on a United Airlines plane after a flight attendant ordered its owner to put the animal in the plane’s overhead bin.
United said Tuesday that it took full responsibility for the incident on the Monday night flight from Houston to New York.
In a statement, United called it “a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin.” The dog was in a small pet carrier designed to fit under an airline seat.
Passengers reported that they heard barking during the flight and didn’t know that the dog had died until the plane landed at LaGuardia Airport. A passenger posted a photo on Twitter of the dog’s owner and children after the flight.
United spokesman Charles Hobart said the flight attendant told the dog’s owner to put the pet carrier in the overhead bin because the bag was partly obstructing the aisle. It is unclear why the carrier was not placed under a seat. The airline is investigating. It has also refunded the tickets and the pet fee.