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United Airlines in the doghouse: Pet shipped to Japan in error

In the latest mishap in the United Airlines saga, the carrier switches a pet bound for Kansas, putting it on a flight en route to Japan.

Call it coincidence or karma. Bad luck keeps haunting United Airlines (UAL) whenever there is a dog on-board its flight. Ironically, the airline has a declared policy to ‘treat pets at par with their regular passengers.’

In societies where pets mean a lot to their owners, the rules for their transportation are formulated accordingly. All American carriers, including United Airlines, have their own norms for accommodating pets in flights.

Knowing that the pet-carrying passengers would expect the crew to share some of their hospitality with the animals too, some of the airlines allow cats and canines to travel in the passenger cabin.

 

Picture Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Though it was with noble intentions that United adopted a pet-friendly policy, it did not help the airline much when trouble stuck it earlier this week.

 

In the first incident, a pet dog died during a flight reportedly due to the lack of sensitivity on the part of a flight attendant. The owner of the ill-fated animal alleged that the flight crew insisted on putting her dog in the overhead storage space of the aircraft.

While the passenger is yet to recover from the shock of seeing her dog die when the journey ended, United Airlines officials are in for more bad news. This time a dog owned by a Kansas family was mistakenly flown to Japan, instead of their hometown.

Post-flight, the family was reportedly given a Great Dane instead of their German Shepherd, at the airline’s cargo section. It was later deduced that an airline employee had put the dog in a Japan-bound flight by oversight.

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It is learned that the worried Kansas residents are still waiting for their dog to return from its unscheduled trip to Japan.

In both cases, United Airlines officials apologized to the passengers, saying ‘the tragic accidents should never have occurred.’

The incidents show the airline company is yet to learn a lesson from the lawsuit filed by the owner of a giant rabbit that died on-board a flight last year.

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