United Airlines' treatment of dogs aboard its flights has come under fresh scrutiny after it emerged a family's German shepherd was mistakenly flown to Japan.
They went to a cargo facility to pick up their 10-year-old German shepherd Irgo, but were instead given a great Dane. When the plane landed, the dog had died. "And it has already been a whirlwind of an adventure for moving so I instantly burst into tears just wondering where my dog was".
United officials apologised and put Irgo on a flight back to Kansas City. The spokeswoman also said that the Airline allows pets in the cabin when they are transported in kennels that can fit under the passenger's seat, according to CNN.
Swindle later discovered that due to a mix-up, Irgo had been sent to Japan in the Great Dane's place.
The mother said United told her it don't know how the dogs were mixed up.
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"At this point, all I can do is be hopeful that my dog is going to be okay and return safely", she added. "I don't know what else to do at this point". Kara wrote on her Facebook. "I've cried too much".
United called the incident "a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin". "We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible", United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said.
"One thing they're thinking right now is that somehow at the pet resort in the Denver airport, when they got taken out of their kennels, to go potty-or whatever they do-they somehow got switched", Swindle said. The flight attendant reportedly told witnesses later that she did not realize there was a dog in the bag.
The airline apologized on Tuesday after a flight attendant forced a passenger to put the dog in the overhead bin for a three-hour trip and the dog died, CNN reported.
United transported 138,178 animals previous year, more than any other American airline according to the US Department of Transportation.