United Airlines Gets Flack for Dog left in rain on Tarmac

When asked of the length of time the dog was on the tarmac, the spokesman said, “It could have been about half an hour.”

12.30.14 - airline

On Twitter and almost every other mainstream social media outlet on the internet today is a buzz with United Airlines and a major error they made.  Someone left a dog, waiting to be loaded onto a plane in a crate, in the rain on the tarmac for over a half an hour.  To make matters worse, when people noticed the problem and contacted the airlines, no one seemed to care all that much.

Passengers were using smartphones and cameras to take pictures of the dog stuck in the crate that rainy day in Houston, Texas.  Barbara Galletly tweeted a photo of someone’s pet just sitting and getting soaked.  Not only were people seeing this happen first hand getting upset, but with the speed of things like Twitter and the internet, it wasn’t long for people all over to start commenting on the poor treatment of the dog.

It wasn’t long before the company responded to the tweet, and perhaps it would have been better if they had made no response at all.  In what looked like a canned response of sorts, Barbara and followers were treated to:  “Thanks for telling us.  The weather can change & may have been clear when PetSafe dropped off.  They’re the ones to call too.”

So basically, ‘Thanks for the heads up, but were aren’t the department that deal with that sort of thing so, go tell them?’ is what one could pull from that.  Or at least that’s exactly what most people following things from the get go took it as.

A spokesperson from United Airlines has come forward to defend the company in its actions.  In a press statement he said, “We checked several cameras and confirmed that our ramp employees in Houston never left the pet unattended after our PetSafe employees dropped the kennel off when we were ready to begin loading the aircraft for departure.  The angle of the photo on Twitter doesn’t adequately tell what happened.  As is our standard practice, our employees placed the pet kennel completely under the wing to protect the pet from the falling rain and onto the aircraft after completing the baggage loading.”

When asked of the length of time the dog was on the tarmac, the spokesman said, “It could have been about half an hour.”

They went on to say the reason the dogs are loaded in last is so they can be unloaded first upon arrival too their destination.

Intentional or not, and even if the “rules” they say they have in place exist and are followed or not even exist, people still took issue.  Twitter was blowing up with the story, and so was Facebook, all really calling for nothing more than an apology.  You can be sure people will be thinking of a different airline company next time they need to fly somewhere.

528 thoughts on “United Airlines Gets Flack for Dog left in rain on Tarmac

  1. Why I will never ever fly my dogs! They’re down there with the luggage, no AC control…they have to be so scared

  2. Ashton Best Jason Best just something to think about before putting your little fur baby on that plane! Xo

  3. Dogs die due to flying allllll the time. This family is lucky their dog is “wet” and not worse. People need to investigate what really happens when flying with your pet. Maybe they’d think twice.

  4. If you have to fly your pets ALWAYS pay the extra money & fly them in the cabin with you or privately. Poor baby.

  5. Thousands of animals die every year because moron owners allow them to fly like this. This is about as traumatic an experience as you can put your pet through. Unless it’s a dire emergency you should never do this.

  6. I would never ever ever feel comfortable flying my dog anywhere if i had to go somewhere. She can’t even handle being in a car! Not fair for this poor baby.

  7. Lets forget about the weather, how noisey is it outside with planes moving around. Nightmare for most animals.

  8. Agree with Jen – never mind the weather, the stress of the noise must have been horrific for the animal 🙁 terrible service from airline/airport!

  9. This isn’t the first time I’ve read news on UA’s mistreatment of their animal passengers. From kicking the pets to other stuff. If I ever had to fly with any of my dogs ever again – Wouldn’t trust UA in the world to look out for my canine family members!

  10. Well in my own opinion i work in the rain a lot….. so i dont see anything wrong with this….Ive seen plenty of dogs that live outside in the rain and they love it….a little water isn’t hurting this dog…most dogs love water anyways…. Its not like the animal is dying or melting in that crate he is just being shipped in it…the dog will live…

    1. Nick – most animals that love the rain have the choice to seek shelter when they are finished playing and are not crated in a small confined place. And when you work in the rain – do you have rain gear to wear

  11. I think it’s crap they are in the cargo hold. It gets cold down there and is not pressurized, so while you sit happy your animal is in distress and cold.

  12. Just bc a dog likes water doesn’t mean he wants to be crated out in the rain in the middle of the airport you dumb ass. Do u think dogs love sitting out in the rain….. That’s what’s wrong with ppl. They have no heart. Stupid mf.

  13. They charge all that money to ship animals… And to do that? I’d be furious!!! That’s why I won’t fly my boy anywhere… I’ll drive if I have to take him.

  14. This poor baby was probably terrified, wondering where his family was… I’ll never put my dogs through this!

  15. Awww, poor puppy….I just hope they made it to their destination ok and that the airline extends a giant apology and some compensation. THat is NOT cool.

  16. In Texas, as well as other areas, so many dogs get tied up and have to stand in the rain and freezing cold which really upsets me. Dogs are pack animals and should be treated as family. Dogs don’t wear water repellent coats.

  17. Disguising I hope the owners get compensation and the dog gets lots of love and cuddles how scary. The experience of being in the hold on ur own must be bad for dogs anyway but to have this on top disgusting

  18. My uncle was a commercial pilot and would not transport his dog via airline baggage which I consider very telling. No disrespect to the industry but the airlines struggle enough with baggage, not sure if trust them with my animal.

  19. Isn’t this the same airline that caused the deaths of several pets? I know one of them had. Don’t want to say it was United without verification.

  20. As well they should! That is animal abuse for sure! It is bad enough they have to be stowed in the baggage compartment:/ I’d prefer to sit next to a dog than to a person any day.

  21. Unless you absolutely have to take your Dog on a plane I would never consider it, heres a good example why you don’t want to, no one is going to love and treat them like you. There no excuses for this, they should definitely be fined big time

  22. People good money 2 transport their animals they would expect the airlines 2 do their job properly if it was my dog i would demand a proper investigation

  23. I would never fly my dog unless it was a private plane, even then I’d rather drive so they aren’t scared

  24. That dog was way out by the wingtip with no protection and is nowhere close to the cargohold???? Poor judgement!

  25. every story I have heard about shipping your loved animals in airlines always end up horrible, majority end up dead, dehydrated, put in extreme cold/hot environments….. just dont take them, pay somebody 50$ to watch them with food……….

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