Tragedy struck on a United flight from Houston to New York City, when a dog in a TSA-compliant pet carrier died after a flight attendant forced its owner to store the animal and its carrier in an overhead bin for the duration of the March 12 flight.
First reported by travel blogger The Points Guy, United has since claimed full responsibility for the “tragic accident.”
According to Travel + Leisure, passengers could reportedly hear the dog barking initially during the flight, and were horrified to learn the animal had passed away later in the trip.
“I want to help this woman and her daughter. They lost their dog because of an @united flight attendant. My heart is broken,” Twitter user Maggie Gremminger wrote, sharing a photo of the family who allegedly lost their dog.
For their part, United’s pet policy reads as follows:
“A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.”
United Airlines spokesperson Maggie Schmerin returned Fox News’ request for comment with the following statement:
“This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them,” she said.
“We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again,” Schmerin added.