Mid-air scare as passenger tries to open cabin door
Passengers on United Express Flight 5449 subdued woman who was heard screaming "I am God, I am God""I am God, I am God, I am God," she was heard screaming in the video.
United Airlines faced fresh backlash on Wednesday over a puppy that died in-flight after a cabin attendant ordered it stowed in an overhead bin, and the U.S. Department of Transportation said it was examining the events that led to the French bulldog's death.
U.S. Senator John Kennedy, who earlier on Wednesday sent a letter to United Airlines President Scott Kirby demanding information on the high number of animals that have died in the carrier's care, wrote on Twitter that he planned to file a bill on Thursday that would prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins.
Owners of dog that died mid-flight in overhead bin speak out
French bulldog puppy died during the three-and-a-half hour trip after a flight attendant insisted it go into the overhead compartmentUnited Airlines issued a statement accepting full responsibility for the incident, which it says is under investigation. Still, many are wondering how an experienced flight attendant could let this happen, reports CBS News' Kris Van Cleave.
"Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family," he wrote.
Kennedy, in his letter, said United's "pattern of animal deaths and injuries is simply inexcusable." He cited figures from the Transportation Department that of the 24 animals that died on U.S. carriers last year, 18 were on United flights.
The actions came after a United flight attendant insisted that the bulldog's owner, Catalina Robledo, put her pet, which was in a dog carrier case, in an overhead storage bin during a 3-1/2-hour flight from Houston to New York on Monday.
Robledo's 11-year-old daughter, Sophia Ceballos, in an interview with CBS, recounted her reaction when the attendant ordered that the dog carrier case be placed in the overhead bin.
United and pet deaths: Airline had the highest rate the last three years
For pets, the skies of United Airlines lately have not been so friendly. It's not just the French bulldog that died on a Houston-to-New York flight Monday after a United flight attendant told its owners to put the dog in an overhead bin. Data from the US Department of Transportation show that three times as many animals died on United flights last year than on all the other US carriers put together. As you can see from this chart, 2017 wasn't an exception. United has had the highest rate of pet deaths of any US airline for the past three years.
"I was like 'It's a dog, it's a dog. He can't breathe there,'" Ceballos told CBS. "(The flight attendant) was like 'it doesn't matter.'"
The family told CBS they heard the puppy, named Kokito, barking for two hours during the flight before he went silent. The family said they were unable to check on the dog because of turbulence that forced them to stay seated.
The Department of Transportation "is looking into the circumstances surrounding the recent death of a pet onboard a United Airlines flight," an agency spokesman said on Wednesday.
The department "is in contact with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that enforces the Animal Welfare Act and handles complaints about alleged animal mistreatment," the spokesman said.
The Federal Aviation Administration is also looking into the incident and will "review the airline's investigation," FAA spokesman Greg Martin said.
After Dog Dies On United Airlines Flight Sen. John Kennedy Proposes Bill
Sen. John Kennedy, like most Americans, was outraged when he read the news an English bulldog puppy had died in overhead storage on a United Airlines flight this week. Load Error So outraged that he is proposing legislation to outlaw airlines from putting dogs and other animals in overhead bins. Officials would face significant fines if they do not comply.“What happened to this pet was disgraceful. And I can’t imagine how the pet’s owner feels. But we need to get to the bottom of it,” Kennedy, who owns two dogs, told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
United said that despite the puppy owner's telling the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrying case, the flight attendant either did not hear or did not understand that there was a pet in the bag, and "did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin."
United said it had concluded its investigation into the matter.
The $125 fee that Robledo paid for her dog to fly in the cabin and the cost of the airfare have been refunded.
Several high-profile incidents of animal deaths and misplacements on United flights have plagued the airline over the last year, including the death of a giant rabbit on one of its flights last July and a dog that died in a plane cargo hold in August.
The airline's animal troubles compound a public relations nightmare tracing back to last spring when a man was dragged from his seat and down the aisle of a parked United plane in order to make room for an airline employee.
United said that by next month, it would issue brightly colored bag tags to passengers traveling with in-cabin pets to help flight attendants easily identify the animals.
(Reporting by Alana Wise Additional reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Leslie Adler)
United Airlines pauses cargo-hold pet transport after missteps .
<p>United Airlines is halting the shipment of pets in airplane cargo holds while it studies improvements, the carrier said on Tuesday, after the death of a puppy and mistakes in handling other dogs last week sparked negative publicity.</p>"We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets," United said in a statement.