United Airlines has once again made news for all the wrong reasons.
And we mean the seriously wrong, disturbing, inhumane reasons.
Consider yourselves warned: the following story is truly horrifying...
Multiple news outlets are reporting that a family's 10-month old French Bulldog died on board a flight from Houston to New York on Monday after a stewardess forced its owner to place the canine in an overhead bin.
The dog belonged to a woman named Catalina Castano, her 11-year-old daughter and her two-month-old son, who were traveling from Texas to LaGuardia Airport after visiting their father and husband, Brayan.
Per Buzzfeed, Castano carried her puppy, Kokito, with her in a standard pet carrier and at first placed the pet under the seat in front of her.
Brayan Castano says his wife paid the pet carrier fee ahead of time, yet a flight attendant still insisted that the dog reside in the overhead bin throughout the trip.
“My wife repeatedly asked her to let her keep the dog by her feet,” Brayan Castano says, adding:
“She then asked her if the dog would be OK. The flight attendant wouldn’t let her keep Kokito by her feet and assured her that he would be fine. Witnesses can attest to that."
Indeed, witnesses have attested to that.
Maggie Gremminger was seated behind Castano and her kids and told People Magazine the following:
After the flight attendant asked her to move [the bag] above, the woman adamantly refused, communicating her dog was in the bag. There was some back and forth before finally the flight attendant convinced her to move the carrier to the bin above.
Gremminger says the dog barked during takeoff and then frequently during initial turbulence.
After 30 minutes or so, however, the dog grew silent.
When the plane landed and Castano retrieved her bag... the dog was dead inside of it.
It died of suffocation and its owner was too busy tending to her baby during the flight to check on the puppy.
Gremminger relayed the subsequent awful scene to People:
"A stranger offered to hold her newborn while she sat on the floor, there in the airplane aisle. She was holding her dog and rocking back and forth. Her daughter was also crying.
"People who could not see what was happening were confused as to what was going on.
"I tried to encourage people to let them off first but it was confusing and so we waited for the rows to filter out. It was absolutely horrible."
With this story having gone viral, airline spokesperson Maggie Schmerin has provided the following statement to the press:
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.
We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.
Brayan Castano tells Buzzfeed that his family is crushed by the loss of their dog, who would have turned a year old on April 30.
He says his wife and daughter haven’t stopped crying, concluding:
“This type of ‘accident’ should never happen.
"Why is it that the flight attendant didn’t know the airline in cabin pet policy? We feel we’ve lost a family member. Nothing can remedy that."
Back in April, United was also in the news after a passenger was left battered and bruised after being forcibly removed from his seat.
This same airline also booted a girl off a flight last year because she was wearing leggings.
Relive that incident below while you recoil in horror over what transpired on Monday regarding this poor dog and his family: