"However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin", the airline said. The family thought he was barking because he gets scared on flights.
Kokito died at some point on the flight before it landed at LaGuardia..
In a separate incident, the Swindle family was supposed to be flying their dog, Irgo, from OR to Kansas City on a United flight Tuesday. The owner of the German shepherd, named Irgo, says he's expected home on Thursday night, and the Great Dane that should have been flown to Tokyo should have already arrived as its correct destination.
United Airlines says it's investigating after mistakenly flying a Kansas family's dog to Japan.
Mrs Swindle said that United didn't know how the mistake happened, but she was told by the airline that the kennels were "similar".
"I honestly don't know if he's going to survive this flight". The spokesman said Chicago-based United offered to pay for a necropsy. It reads: "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".
Though animal deaths involving commercial flights are rare, they spark outrage whenever they occur.
In 2017, 24 animals died, 15 others were injured and one was lost on commercial flights, out of almost 507,000 animals that were transported, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
The airline's animal troubles compound a public relations nightmare tracing back to last spring when a man was dragged from his seat and down the aisle of a parked United plane in order to make room for an airline employee.
United, which promotes its pet-shipping program called PetSafe, carries more animals than any other airline, but its animal-death rate is also the highest in the industry. "For comparison, Delta and American each reported two animal deaths".
"Your pet is treated as cargo", Greenberg said.
On United Flight 1284 from Houston to NY on Monday, a woman who was flying with children and a small dog was pressured by a flight attendant to put her dog in overhead storage during the 3-1/2 hour flight.