A companion dog suffocated and died after its owner was ordered to place it in an overhead compartment on a United Airlines flight from Houston to New York.
The airline has been so rocked with negative backlash due to the 10-month-old puppy’s untimely death, it announced on Wednesday that it will introduce a new and exclusive “Canine Class” as early as May of this year.
“We are deeply sorry for the accidental death of this family pet and plan to make it up to its owners and all pet lovers flying with our airline,” said Mike Roverton, a United spokesman. “Starting this spring, we will redesign the rear section of our coach cabins to accommodate animals in true in-flight luxury. From now on, when your companion creatures take wing on United, they’ll be treated as preferred pet travelers.”
United has a particularly poor record of tending to animals in their care. Of the 24 pets that died while flying with U.S. air carriers last year, 18 were on United flights. United also reported the highest rate of animal injuries of any airline, which might explain its unique efforts to set a new standard in animal travel.
Roverton described Canine Class as “a specially designed section of the plane that will be equipped with an artificial turf dog run, a variety of pet toys, nourishing snacks and treats, and a dedicated pet-sitter who will watch over the safety of the animals on-board every United flight.”
United says it plans to extend the amenities of its special pet section to other globe-trotting animals, as well.
“Cats, turtles, hamsters, peacocks, ducks, dwarf horses, certain types of marsupials, and non-poisonous snakes will also be allowed to fly in Canine Class,” Roverton added.
United Airlines is urging customers to call its toll-free number with any questions about it new Canine Class.
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