United Airlines Suspends New Reservations for Pets in Cargo Hold - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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United Airlines Suspends New Reservations for Pets in Cargo Hold

United said it will honor any existing reservations confirmed as of March 20, 2018

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tips for Traveling on a Plane With Your Pet

    Stephanie Shain from Humane Rescue Alliance breaks down everything you need to know about preparing your pet and pet carrier for in-cabin or cargo air travel. News4's Sheena Parveen reports. (Published Tuesday, March 20, 2018)

    United Airlines is pausing its pet-shipping business after mishaps that include a dog winding up in Japan instead of Kansas.

    United said Tuesday that it will halt PetSafe reservations while it reviews the service, which lets customers ship pets as cargo. Fees can run several hundred dollars for a medium-size or big dog.

    The review, expected to finish by May 1, doesn't affect pets in the cabin like the French bulldog that died last week after a flight attendant ordered a passenger to put her pet carrier in the overhead bin. 

    United said it will honor any existing reservations confirmed as of March 20, 2018, and will assist any customer that wishes to cancel their reservation.

    Dog Dies in Overhead Bin on United Airlines Flight

    [NATL] Dog Dies in Overhead Bin on United Airlines Flight

    A dog died when a passenger was ordered by a flight attendant to place her dog in an overhead bin during a flight from Houston to New York's Laguardia Airport. United Airlines has taken full responsibility for the death of the dog.

    (Published Tuesday, March 13, 2018)

    After that incident, United chartered a private jet to return the German shepherd from Japan. Two days later another flight made an unplanned landing in Ohio because it was carrying a dog that was put on the wrong plane.

    Both of those animals were flying in the cargo hold.

    United spokesman Charles Hobart said the airline was pausing new PetSafe reservations while it reviews and improves the program. He said the airline would consult independent experts in pet safety. He said the airline is not killing the program, but did not give a date for when it would resume.

    Attendant Didn't Understand Mom's Pleas About Dog: United

    [NATL-NY] United Says Flight Attendant Did Not Understand Mom's Pleas About Dog

    United Airlines said the flight attendant who ordered a passenger to put a dog in a carrier in an overhead compartment on a New York City-bound flight earlier this week "did not hear or understand" the mother's pleas not to put the pup in the bin. Roseanne Colletti reports.

    (Published Wednesday, March 14, 2018)

    Hobart said the airline also will give airport crews more advance warning about the number and type of animals flying in cargo for each flight. He said a ramp supervisor will be required to oversee the loading and unloading of all animals in cargo, and another official will have to certify that the animals were handled properly before the flight takes off.

    United announced last week that to avoid a repeat of the dog dying in an overhead bin, it will put brightly colored tags on carriers containing pets in plane cabins. The airline says the flight attendant who told a woman to put her carrier in the overhead bin on a Houston-to-New York flight didn't understand that there was a dog inside, an account that the family and other passengers disputed.