A United flight was diverted because it mistakenly had a dog on board (again)

Tanya Edwards
Photo: Getty Images

United Airlines has had yet another incident with a dog on one of its flights. No, not the one with the dog that died in the overhead bin. Or the dog that was mistakenly sent to Japan. Shockingly, the beleaguered airline had another incident with another dog.

On Thursday, a United flight from Newark, N.J., to St. Louis was diverted after the airline learned it had a dog bound for Akron, Ohio, on board, the Washington Post reports. The pup was mistakenly loaded onto the St. Louis flight, company spokeswoman Natalie Noonan told the Post on Saturday.

After realizing the dog had been put aboard the wrong flight, the airline decided to have the plane follow the dog’s itinerary. It headed to Ohio after the airline “chose the fastest option to reunite the dog with his family,” Noonan said.

Passengers were provided compensation for the delay.

The latest embarrassment for United Airlines comes only days after a French bulldog died on a flight from Houston to New York after a United flight attendant told its owners to put the dog in an overhead bin. The dog, Kokito, suffocated. 

“This little guy fought hard for his life, filling our flight with his cries until he finally ran out of breath,” passenger June Lara wrote on Facebook after the incident. “United Airlines does not care about the safety of their furry travelers. This poor family paid $125 for their pet to be murdered in front of them.”

And a woman moving from Oregon to Kansas with her family on a United Airlines flight last Tuesday was stunned when she went to collect her dog from the cargo facility and instead discovered a Great Dane waiting in its place. Their dog had become the unwitting victim of a mix-up with the other dog, which was scheduled to fly to Japan.

The dog was flown back to her on a plane after landing in Japan.

‘They had no idea where the dog was,” Swindle said. 

United was also under fire last year for the treatment of a passenger who was physically dragged off a plane the airline had overbooked, when videos posted online by other passengers showed a man screaming as officers yanked him from his seat.

Fortunately this mix-up had a happier ending, except for the people trying to make connecting flights.

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