Dog in the overhead bin UnitedOn Monday, a United passenger on a Houston-to-New York LGA flight named Maggie Gremminger (who goes by @MaggieGrem on Twitter) sent five tweets upon landing that went like this…

This was obviously a tragic and unnecessary incident. I understand that it’s difficult for an airline to manage thousands of flight attendants, but there is absolutely no way a flight attendant should’ve given instructions to place an animal in the overhead bin. For its part, I was glad to see that United at least took responsibility. A United spokesperson provided the following statement to TPG: “This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”

If I’m ever a passenger in that situation, I would ask to speak to another flight attendant, then the pilot, and if they all continue to give me those bad instructions I would walk off the plane. That said, I don’t blame the passenger because she probably didn’t know the rules, and I wish her and her family the best in the wake of all this. Hopefully, this can serve as a reminder for everyone to never, ever place a live animal in the overhead bin.

Good to know: Here’s United’s pet policy.

Related: An Important Reminder for Travelers Flying With Pets



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4 Comments On "Never, Ever Place a Live Animal in the Overhead Bin"
  1. Pu|

    She left the dog there for th entire flight??? Didn’t think to check up on it during the trip?

    Those bins don’t look like they’re air tight. Maybe it died from something else?

  2. Marcia Frost|

    I am just baffled how the owner could allow this and how the rest of the plane could ignore a crying puppy!!

  3. AttentionAllPassengers|

    First of all, no flight attendant would knowingly/deliberately have a live animal put in the overhead compartment. When the dust settled, it was evident that the passenger (who did not speak English) used her ten-year-old as the “interpreter” (a 10-year-old would be unable to assess all the vagaries of what could go wrong – but the parent certainly could). Even at that, you (the adult) would certainly refuse or question the suggestion of putting an animal in such a space once you comprehended what the FA was suggesting. Apparently they did not disclose that they were traveling with a live animal (snuck it on as a regular carryon so that they did not have to pay for it).
    Then, all these “horrified” other passengers who supposedly saw all this just let it happen, did not tell or suggest to the owner that she remove the dog from the overhead bin. They just sat their till the end of the flight while listening to the barking/whimpering. If you were so “horrified” Ms. Gremminger, why didn’t you speak up while this was happening ??? If you witnessed a child or elderly person being beaten would you likewise just stand there, watch it and do nothing ? She should go “sleepless” as she stated, she knew the dog shouldn’t be in there yet sat for over three hours so “horrified”. People like this are dangerous and so are passengers simply so ignorant that they don’t know how to protect their own dog.

  4. AttentionAllPassengers|

    My point also (below). Gotta love it when people are so horrified yet they were not too horrified to just sit there for over three hours and then go on Instagram and Facebook etc. to malign the flight attendant. Trust me, no FA (no matter how “hurried) would have had a live animal put in an overhead bin. The owner was deceptive and did not declare the animal (so she would not have to pay for it) and had no common sense to simply remove the animal after the FA walked away !! Your ten-year-old is the interpreter and you just sit there ?? Then you have dangerous people like Ms. Gremminger who likewise witnessed the “crime” but did nothing.

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