United Flight Attendant Backtracks Excuse After Dog Dies Mid-Flight

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Jena Greene Reporter
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The family that owned the French bulldog that died while stored in the overheard bin on a flight from Houston to New York City claims the flight attendant on the plane is lying.

Catalina Robledo and her 11-year-old young daughter Sophia say the flight attendant told them to store the dog in its crate in the overheard compartment. They claim the attendant knew there was a dog in the crate and told them to just do it anyways.

“The flight attendant came, and she was like, ‘You have to put him up there because it’s going to block the path,'” daughter Sophia told “Good Morning America.” “And we were like, ‘It’s a dog, it’s a dog.’ And she said, ‘It doesn’t matter, you still have to put it up there.'”

But another passenger on the flight says the attendant had no idea there was a dog onboard. “She said that she did not know there was a dog in the bag, and if so she never would have instructed it to be put in the bin above,” the passenger said.

“There were two people behind us who said they had the same dog, and they were like, ‘You shouldn’t [do] this … it’s not common to do this,'” Sophia, whose mom Catalina does not speak English, continued. She even said her mom asked if she could put the dog in her lap during the flight.

“In the end, she says she didn’t know it was a dog, but she actually touched the bag and felt him there. She’s basically lying to us now,” Sophia continued. “She said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was a dog. I thought it was just a normal bag.’ But we told her it was a dog. She was lying!”

It’s unclear at the moment who is lying and who is telling the truth. But one thing is clear. United has been plagued with a year of poor customer service complaints and PR crises. ABC also points out that United has the highest incidence of “animal loss, injury or death during air transportation.”

A spokesperson for United called the dog’s death a “tragic accident.”

“We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them,” United continued. “We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

It’s unclear at the moment whether the family will take legal recourse against the airline.

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