Last weekend, a flight attendant with United Airlines forced a woman to put her puppy Kokito, a French bulldog, in the overhead bin where it died. And now, a Texas district attorney is investigating the death of the puppy as a possible criminal offense. Beginning this April, United will issue brightly colored tags for carry-on bags containing animals. (Because common sense is too difficult?)


The best advice for people traveling with pets would be to be aware of the specific airline policy when traveling with furry members of the family. Currently, pets are viewed and treated as cargo meaning if the airline misplaces your animal, injures it, or kills it, your compensation is roughly the equivalent of a lost bag. Now, with the recent mess-ups perhaps something will change but until it does, take caution.

Sophia Ceballos and her mother Catalina Robledo are still mourning the death of their sweet baby and their grief has “reached Capitol Hill. Senator John Kennedy tweeted he’ll be filing a bill Thursday ‘that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins.'”1 He said, “What happened to this pet was disgraceful. We need to get to the bottom of it.”2

But, if you thought it wasn’t possible for United to screw up, even more, you’d be wrong. They are also apologizing this week for mistakenly flying a German shepherd who was supposed to land in Kansas City, to Japan.


On Monday, Irgo the German shepherd was put on a plane in Portland, Oregon, and made an overnight stop in a Denver kennel. However, instead of flying to Kansas City on Tuesday, “he made a nearly 6,000-mile detour to Tokyo.”3He will finally arrive two days later than he should have and will likely be quite stressed (but happy to see his family, too).

United Airlines response was, “We apologize for this mistake…. An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations.” 4


Yikes. Someone needs to step up and train employees better. It’s time to encourage them – or even demand them- to take their time and do their jobs well. SOMETHING. Because we are paying an arm and a leg for tickets these days (notice after the gas crisis the prices never went back down) and yet problems and issues are rampant.


Sources and References

  1. CBS News, March 15, 2018.
  2. CBS News, March 15, 2018.
  3. CBS News, March 15, 2018.
  4. CBS News, March 15, 2018.