On the heels of yesterday’s story of a United Airlines flight attendant demanding that a dog should be stored in the overhead bin during a Houston to New York flight leading to its death. United finds itself dealing with another major animal transport problem today.
Now, United Airlines is involved in a mix-up by sending a family’s dog to Japan instead of Kansas City. The family was looking forward to being reunited with Irgo their 10-year-old German Shepherd, but instead, they were met with a Great Dane (with Irgo’s paperwork) they didn’t know. Kara Swindle, the dog’s owner found out later that Irgo had been shipped to Japan due to a connection error in Denver. United release this statement regarding the incident:
"An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened."
This is not a good look for United, who had the most reported issues with transporting pets amongst major US airlines last year. According to statistics by the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 24 animal deaths reported in 2017. Of those deaths, 18 were on United Airlines, accounting for three-quarters of all animal deaths on all US airlines!
Safe to say, all of us watchdogs here at Airfarewatchdog will not be using United Airlines to transport our pets until United improves its disastrous track record and overhauls its animal transport program.
Header image by Jaromir Chalabala via Shutterstock.