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United Airlines suspends new reservations for pets in cargo hold

United Airlines is pausing its reservations for pets traveling in the cargo compartment after three dogs were loaded onto the wrong planes last week and a fourth died in an overhead bin. 

On Tuesday, the airline said it will halt PetSafe reservations while it reviews the service, which lets customers ship pets as cargo. Fees can run several hundred dollars for a medium-size or big dog.

The review, expected to finish by May 1, does not affect pets in the cabin like the French bulldog that died last week after a flight attendant ordered a passenger to put her pet carrier in the overhead bin.

United Airlines said on Tuesday it is pausing it reservations for pets traveling in the cargo compartment after three dogs were loaded onto the wrong planes last week and a fourth died in an overhead bin

Last week, Irgo the German Shepherd (pictured) and Lincoln the Great Dane were mixed up by staff

Irgo was accidentally sent to Japan and had to be flown home on a corporate jet and Lincoln (pictured) was sent to Wichita, Kansas

Last week, Irgo the German Shepherd (left) and Lincoln the Great Dane (right) were mixed up by staff. Irgo was accidentally sent to Japan and had to be flown home on a corporate jet and Lincoln was sent to Wichita, Kansas

United’s decision follows incidents last week in which dogs were mistakenly sent to incorrect destinations.   

Irgo the German Shepherd was meant to fly with his owners to Wichita, Kansas, from Portland, Oregon, stopping off at Denver on the way.

Instead, he was sent by mistake to Naruto, Japan.

When his owners in Wichita went to collect him, they were greeted instead by Lincoln, a Great Dane whose family live in Japan and were on their way there without him. 

Two days later, a United flight carrying 33 passengers from Newark, New Jersey, to St Louis was diverted to Akron, Ohio, after the airline realized that a pet had been mistakenly loaded onto the wrong flight. 

United spokesman Charles Hobart said the airline was pausing new PetSafe reservations while it reviews and improves the program. 

He said the airline would consult independent experts in pet safety and assured that United is not killing the program.

Hobart also said that United also will give airport crews more advance warning about the number and type of animals flying in cargo for each flight. 

The review, expected to finish by May 1, does not affect pets in the cabin like the French bulldog that died last week after a flight attendant ordered a passenger to put her pet carrier in the overhead bin (pictured)

The review, expected to finish by May 1, does not affect pets in the cabin like the French bulldog that died last week after a flight attendant ordered a passenger to put her pet carrier in the overhead bin (pictured)

A United spokesman  said the airline also will give airport crews more advance warning about the number and type of animals flying in cargo for each flight

A United spokesman  said the airline also will give airport crews more advance warning about the number and type of animals flying in cargo for each flight

For future flights, a ramp supervisor will be required to oversee the loading and unloading of all animals in cargo, and another official will have to certify that the animals were handled properly before the flight takes off.

United announced last week that to avoid a repeat of the dog dying in an overhead bin, it will put brightly colored tags on carriers containing pets in plane cabins. 

The airline says the flight attendant who told a woman to put her carrier in the overhead bin on a Houston-to-New York flight didn’t understand that there was a dog inside, an account that the family and other passengers disputed.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk