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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It’s been a doggone crappy week for some United passengers — especially three of man’s best friends. One destined for Kansas is now stuck in Japan, one on its way to Tokyo is with strangers in Kansas City and a third, a beloved French bulldog named Papacito… well, he’s dead.

The airline is clearly at fault when it comes to all three. So, naturally, United had to act — and given the firestorm that followed 2017’s infamous “passenger-experience” debacle — it had to act quickly.

I’m just not sure how I feel about this solution…

From United:

We have spoken to the family, our crew and a number of passengers who were seated nearby. We have learned that the customer did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier. However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin. As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident. We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support. To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets. This visual tag will further help our flight attendants identify pets in-cabin.

The challenge here is that United is essentially transferring responsibility from passengers and crew members to the gate agents. If an in-cabin pet somehow ends up getting on a plane without that “bright-colored bag tag” — which I’m sure could happen weekly if not every day — is a flight attendant still held accountable if they insist that a passenger place the pet in the overhead bin?

We can always hope that common sense will prevail, but adding a special bag tag to the equation could end up causing more harm than good, assuming that the tags are issued as passengers are boarding at the gate.

As passengers with pets — and even those traveling in the same cabin as other people’s pets — if you “see something, say something.” I’m certainly going to keep an ear out for barks going forward, and if I find a pet in a bin (or on its way up), you better believe I’ll have something to say.

Featured image by Shaun Wang / EyeEm via Getty Images.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.