Dog dies on United Airlines flight after owners were told to lock it in overhead locker

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The dog died after being placed in an overhead locker on a United Airlines flight (Rex/stock photo)

A dog has died on a United Airlines flight after a member of the cabin crew ordered the animal be put in the plane’s overhead locker.

Catelina Robledo was travelling from Houston to New York with her daughter, Sophia Ceballos, 11, and their pet French bulldog Kokito.

They wanted to keep the dog under the seat – as the airline’s policy states – but a member of the cabin crew reportedly refused.

The passengers were then forced to put it in the locker for the duration of the flight.

Other passengers said they heard barking during the flight and did not know that Kokito had died until the plane landed at LaGuardia Airport, nearly four hours later.

Maggie Gremminger, who was on the flight, wrote on Twitter after the flight: ‘It was clearly a dog and while the customers was adamant about leaving it under the set, the attendant pushed her to (put the dog in the locker).

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‘At the end of the flight, the woman found her dog, deceased.

‘She sat in the airplane aisle on the floor crying and all of surrounding passengers were utterly stunned.’

Ms Gremminger added: ‘I am disgusted and traumatised.’

The French bulldog, similar to the one pictured, barked throughout the flight (Rex/stock photo)

United said it was taking responsibility for the incident on the Monday night flight, saying pets should never be put in the overhead storage compartment.

In a statement, the company described the death as a ‘tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin’.

The airline is now investigating the incident and speaking to the flight attendant.