Senator to Introduce Bill Prohibiting Airlines From Storing Pets in Overhead Bins
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The fallout continues for United in the sad tale of the loss of a family pet Monday night. In an attempt to ensure that no other family loses their pet in that manner, Senator John Kennedy announced Wednesday evening that he’s planning to introduce a bill on Thursday prohibiting “airlines from putting animals in overhead bins.”
The Louisiana senator notes that “violators will face significant fines.”
It’s important to note that United policy has never called for storing pets in overhead bins. In this situation, United claims that its “flight attendant did not hear or understand” the passenger when she said that the bag contained a pet “and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin.”
Similarly, no other airline policy we’ve found ever calls for a pet to be placed in the overhead bin. That said, having the consequence of a “significant” fine would ensure that airlines remain especially diligent about avoiding this situation from occurring again.
However, a more productive way to enhance safety for traveling pets would be an inquiry into United’s general pet handling failures. Department of Transportation statistics reveal that United has both the highest rate and highest number of incidents involving loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation.
In 2017, United had 31 total incidents — 18 deaths and 13 injuries — for an rate of 2.24 incidents per every 10,000 animals transported. The total number of incidents for all other airlines combined was just nine: six deaths, two injuries and one loss.
American Airlines had the second-highest rate of incidents with 0.87 loss, injury or death per 10,000 animals transported — with two deaths, one injury. Delta (0.52 rate) and Alaska (0.26 rate) were the only other airlines that had incidents during the year. According to DOT statistics, 506,994 pets were transported by airlines in 2017. More than 27% of these pets were transported by United.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees