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United Faces Another Dog Dilemma After Dog Placed On Wrong Flight

A United Airlines flight was diverted from its intended destination of St. Louis, Missouri to Akron, Ohio when it was discovered that a dog in cargo had been loaded onto the wrong plane.

Flight 3996 left from Newark, New Jersey on its way to St. Louis when the airline discovered there was a canine passenger aboard who was not bound for St. Louis, but was intended to be on a flight to Akron, Ohio instead. The airline decided that the best course of action, after the bad week of publicity they have had, was to reroute the entire plane to Akron to reunite the dog with his family.

The flight from Newark to St. Louis normally takes two hours. With the plane being rerouted to Akron first, it took four hours for the human passengers to reach their destination. The airline claims that passengers were compensated for the delay, but did not specify in what way they were compensated. While the airline has not disclosed how many passengers were affected, CNN reported 33 passengers.

United Airlines has not had a good week. Last Monday, a 10-month-old French Bulldog puppy named Kokito suffocated to death when a flight attendant forced the family to put the dog in an overhead bin when the airline-approved carrier wouldn’t fit under the seat.

The very next day, a German Shepherd was accidentally sent to Japan instead of Kansas when the dog was switched with a Great Dane during a layover in Denver.

And that’s not all. According to WP:

“Last year, [United Airlines], one of the largest in the world, carried about a quarter of the total number of animals transported by air in the United States, but it was responsible for 18 of 25 flight-related pet deaths last year, according to Transportation Department data.”

There’s no word on whether or not United Airlines is reviewing any of its pet-related regulations after a week’s worth of incidents.

We’re hoping to end pet-related accidents and deaths aboard flights. Help us make travel for pets safer by adding your voice to our petition at

(H/T: Washington Post)

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Written by Jennifer Nelson

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