Never, Ever Place a Live Animal in the Overhead Bin

Dog in the overhead bin UnitedOn Monday, a United passenger on a Houston-to-New York LGA flight named Maggie Gremminger (who goes by on Twitter) sent five tweets upon landing that went like this…

I just flew into LGA and witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a passenger to put her dog bag in the overhead bin. It was clearly a dog and while the customer was adamant about leaving it under the seat, the attendant pushed her to do so. (1)

— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem)

Myself and a fellow passenger felt like that was NOT a thing. I am not a flight attendant tho. Maybe they have air ventilation in there that I didn’t know about. I tried googling rules about pets on board but didn’t have ample time before takeout. (2)

— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem)

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. (3)

— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem)

I am disgusted and traumatized. Pets are family. How could a trained flight attendant instruct a passenger to place her dog in that bin. It was her job to understand the plane and it’s rules/limitations. (4)

— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem)

I don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight. It was clearly a dog in a TSA approved dog bag. Why would the flight attendant force the woman to put her dog there? I could have done something. I’m so upset.

— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem)

This was obviously a tragic and unnecessary incident. I understand that it’s difficult for an airline to manage thousands of flight attendants, but there is absolutely no way a flight attendant should’ve given instructions to place an animal in the overhead bin. For its part, I was glad to see that United at least took responsibility. A United spokesperson : “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.”

If I’m ever a passenger in that situation, I would ask to speak to another flight attendant, then the pilot, and if they all continue to give me those bad instructions I would walk off the plane. That said, I don’t blame the passenger because she probably didn’t know the rules, and I wish her and her family the best in the wake of all this. Hopefully, this can serve as a reminder for everyone to never, ever place a live animal in the overhead bin.

Good to know: .

Related: An Important Reminder for Travelers Flying With Pets



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Never, Ever Place a Live Animal in the Overhead Bin
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2 Comments on "Never, Ever Place a Live Animal in the Overhead Bin"

  1. She left the dog there for th entire flight??? Didn’t think to check up on it during the trip?

    Those bins don’t look like they’re air tight. Maybe it died from something else?

  2. I am just baffled how the owner could allow this and how the rest of the plane could ignore a crying puppy!!

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