It was only yesterday that news came out United required a passenger to put her dog in the overhead bin on a flight from Houston to New York LaGuardia, and the dog died.
United took “full responsibility for this tragedy” and committed “to prevent this from ever happening again.” Yesterday.
Now it turns out United accidentally sent a Kansas family’s dog to Japan. The family was traveling on the same flight, with the dog checked in as cargo.
Kara Swindle and her two children flew from Oregon to Kansas City, Missouri, Tuesday on a United flight.
They went to a cargo facility to pick up 10-year-old Irgo, a German shepherd, but were instead given a Great Dane. Swindle, of Wichita, Kansas, learned Irgo had been put on a flight to Japan, where the Great Dane was supposed to go.
United mixed up the two dogs, and sent each to the wrong country.
Last year United mixed up two dogs and sent each one to the wrong city. One of the dogs was forced to overnight in Houston after taking this routing:
That wasn’t the only time United made news switching and mis-routing dogs last year. Fortunately those dogs survived. Another one in United’s care last year wasn’t so lucky when an agent’s mistake meant that the dog traveled 20 hours longer than expected.
United’s PetSafe program appears to have a problem.
One Mile at a Time pointed out that United Airlines accounts for “75% of animal deaths, 87% of animal injuries, and 78% of animal incidents” among U.S. airlines.
At least Irgo the German shepherd as of this moment is still believed to be alive. In a statement, United says
An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened.
I’d be a little more proactive than just that.