Family of dog who died in overhead bin on flight say he was 'like a brother'
The family of the dog who died in an overhead bin during a flight have said he was "like a brother" to them.
The dog, named Kokita, was travelling on a United Airlines flight when a flight attendant told his family that he would have to be stored in the overhead bin rather than the seat in front of them.
When the plane landed three hours later, Kokita had died.
The French bulldog's owners, Catalina Robledo and her daughter Sophia Ceballos, said that the flight attendant did not give them a choice when they stored Kokita in the overhead bin.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 14, 2018
Speaking on Good Morning America today, the 11-year-old said:
“We were gonna put him under the seat and then the flight attendants came, she said: ‘You have to put him up there because it’s going to block the path.’
“And we’re like, ‘It’s a dog, it’s a dog.’ And she’s like: ‘It doesn’t matter you still have to put it up there.' She helped her put it up, and she just closed it like it was a bag.”
Speaking through tears, Sophia said that when the flight landed, she and her mother opened the bin to check on the dog.
“My mom got up and got the bag, and she took him out, and she’s like: ‘Kokito, Kokito, wake up!’ and he didn’t," she said. "He was a member of our family. He was like a brother to me."
— MaggieGremminger (@MaggieGrem) March 13, 2018
United Airlines has taken full responsibility for the dog's death.
In a statement, they said:
"This was a tragic accident that should never have happened.
"We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them.
"We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again. Pets should never be placed in the overhead bin."