Family claims flight attendant lied over dog tragedy

DENVER, CO - August 25, 2016:  A United Airlines Airbus A319 passenger plane taxis toward a gate at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Just when we thought the heartbreak was over, the family of the dog that died on the United Airlines flight has spoken out.

In case you missed it, we reported the original story earlier this week.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Sophia Ceballos, speaking on behalf of her mother, said the flight attendant lied about what happened.

The family was forced to put their French Bulldog, who was inside a carry case, in the overhead compartment.

The family said they could hear the dog barking for the duration of the four-hour trip and they tried to alert the crew and get help for the dog, but claim they were ignored.

During an interview with ABC13, Ceballos said the family wasn’t allowed to get up and help the dog because of turbulence, so they could not check on him until they landed.

Ceballos’ mother tried desperately to resuscitate the dog but it was too late.

“She’s like, ‘He died, he died. Kokito, Kokito.’ And he didn’t wake up,” she told ABC 13

“She hit his chest so he could breathe, but he couldn’t breathe”

Ceballos claims the flight attendant then denied knowing there was a dog in the bag.

“She said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was a dog. I thought it was a normal bag.’ But we told her it was a dog, she’s lying,” she said.

United Airlines have released a statement confirming the family did tell the flight attendent about the dog.

“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.” the statement said.

United Airlines also say they’re taking steps to make sure this horrible incident doesn’t happen again.

“To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright coloured bag tags to customers travelling with in-cabin pets,” the statement said.

“This visual tag will further help our flight attendants identify pets in-cabin.”

Now please excuse us while we go home and hug our dogs forever.

Email the Travel Weekly team at

dog pets tragedy united airlines

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