The tragedy occurred on a United flight from Houston to New York City, when a dog on a pet carrier that was serving the TSA died after an air hostess forced its owner to keep the animal and its carrier in a top compartment during the March 12 flight.
First reported by travel blogger The Points Guy, United has claimed full responsibility for the "tragic accident".
According to Travel + Leisure, passengers could hear the dog initially barking during the flight, and were horrified to learn that the animal had died later in the trip.
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"I want to help this woman and her daughter, they lost their dog due to a flight attendant @united, my heart is broken", wrote Twitter user Maggie Gremminger, sharing a photo of the family that allegedly lost her dog.
For its part, United's pet policy reads as follows:
"A pet traveling in a cabin must be transported in an approved kennel with hard or soft sides, the kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of client and stay there at all times. "
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United Airlines spokesperson Maggie Schmerin returned the request for comments from Fox News with the following statement:
"This was a tragic accident that should never have happened, since pets should never be placed In the upper compartment, we assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and we commit ourselves to supporting them, "he said.
"We are thoroughly investigating what happened to prevent this from happening again," Schmerin added.
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heartbreaking news come weeks after United and Delta topped the headlines to adjust the rules to fly with animals in the midst of emotional support and controversy among service animals.