In a devastating turn of events, a dog has died in an overhead cabin on a United Airlines plane.
The French bulldog died on Monday during a flight from Houston to New York, travelling with its owner, Catalina Robledo, in an airline-approved pet carrier.
Witnesses have alleged that a United Airlines flight attendant forced Robledo to put the carrier—with the puppy inside—into the overhead cabin.
Fellow passenger, Maggie Gemminger, who sat behind the owner of the dog, said in a conversation with travel website One Mile at a Time, “I witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a woman to put her dog carrier with live dog in an overhead bin.”
The unidentified flight attendant has since claimed that she did not know that there was a dog in the carrier.
Robledo told Telemundo 47, “The dog barked and barked but I could not stand.” She explained that this was because her new born baby was on her lap and the plane was going through turbulence.
Robledo’s seven-year-old daughter said to ABC13, “While we were flying, the dog started barking and barking and there were no flight attendants coming. We couldn’t stand up because there was a lot of turbulence so we weren’t allowed to.”
United Airlines has since claimed full responsibility for the death of the dog. In a statement, the airline said, “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them.
“We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again. Pets should never be placed in the overhead bin.”
The cause of death has not been verified, but it is believed that lack of oxygen in the overhead cabin may be a factor.
The heart wrenching news comes just weeks after both United Airlines and Delta made headlines for tightening policies surrounding pets and emotional support animals on flights.