United Diverts Flight Because They Put Another Dog on Wrong Plane

Last week United forced a passenger to stow their puppy in an overhead bin, killing it. And then they sent a family dog to Japan by mistake.

United kills more dogs than any other airline, and they lose more dogs than anyone else does too. I’ve been raising flags about this for years for instance last summer explaining why I wouldn’t trust my dog to United.

Trying to get a little bit of good publicity out of their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week United put the dog coming back from Japan onto a private jet to reunite the family as quickly as possible.

The dog’s owner certainly got the word out, and it had the potential to help turn around the narrative for United even though they still clearly have a problem in their pet handling.

Except that United put another dog onto the wrong flight. During the same week. When an intense amount of scrutiny and heightened awareness of the problem was certainly in place at the airline.

United flight UA3996 from Newark to St. Louis had a dog onboard that was supposed to go to Akron, Ohio.
And the PR nightmare this week was so intense for United that they diverted the plane, with all passengers onboard, to Akron to drop off the dog where it was supposed to go.

At the end of the day though United still put the wrong dog on the wrong plane. Again. And hasn’t publicly acknowledged they have a problem.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. An entire flight was diverted and passengers delayed because United wanted to drop off a dog?GTFOH

  2. I’ve lost track on how many dog incidents there are with United already. Maybe it’s their strategy to make it happen so often that people are no longer surprised to hear about another one.

  3. The word is clearly out if you fly with a pet on United it’s on you I stopped flying United after the doctor was dragged out of his payed for seat. It’s one thing to get bumped before boarding and something completely different what happened to him.

  4. WTF, are the dog kennels not tagged with the same type of destination luggage tags that a suitcase gets? I know I wouldn’t hand over my kennel till I knew it was tagged correctly.

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