Oh United, you endless source of material you.
The 140-pound Mastiff traveled from Miami to San Francisco via Houston in August. The owner had made the trip with his pet before with no problems, but on an 85 degree day in Houston, he was horrified to see that Bam Bam the dog was transported to the plane in his carrier after their layover in a luggage cart, not an air-conditioned van as promised. When the plane landed in California, the dog was dead. A necropsy showed that he died of a heart attack, which United claims was not related to travel.
And then there’s this completely separate recent incident, which is only related in the sense that this dog was also 2 years old, flew on United and appears to have baked to death. Oh, and it was featured in the same story as the other one, if you want to get really technical about things.
On another flight to San Francisco, this one from New York City, former supermodel Maggie Rizer was bringing her family’s two golden retrievers home from an East Coast vacation earlier this month. Two-year-old Bea didn’t survive the trip, and Rizer told the New York Daily News that United staff lied about taking her pet for a necropsy. A necropsy performed by the family vet showed that the animal died of heatstroke.
The report notes that neither of these people are after much if anything in the way of compensation for their losses, and that what they really want is for airlines like United to treat animals with more care.
I wouldn’t be holding my breath, folks. United doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to taking care of things. Just ask a certain guitar or small child.