18.03.15 United Airlines

March 15, 2018

The NOT so
Dog-Friendly skies ===============================

United Airlines had TWO major dog-related disasters this week.

One dog died & one dog got “lost”.

The incidents turned into a public relations nightmare for the airline & produced policy changes.


Monday: KOKITO

During a flight from Houston to New York, a flight attendant ordered the owner of a french bulldog named Kokito to put the puppy in its carrier in the overhead compartment.

The family said they heard Kokito barking for two hours, but when the plane landed, Kokito was dead.

United’s Response:

“We have learned that the customer did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier. However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin. As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident.”

This was NOT the first time a pet died on a United Airlines flight

According to the Department of Transportation, 24 animals died on U.S. carriers in 2017 – 75% of those deaths took place on a United Airlines flight.

Tuesday: IRGO

  • When a Missouri woman went to retrieve her 10-year old German Shepard named Irgo she was told her “beautiful Great Dane” was waiting; Irgo was sent to Japan.
  • United apologized and explained that an error occurred during connections sending two pets to the wrong destinations.A United is flying Irgo home first class with a human escort in the main cabin.

United announced it will implement a new policy: "To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets. This visual tag will further help our flight attendants identify pets in-cabin."

by Jenna Lee,