Lawmakers demand explanation from United over pet deaths

Sunday, 18 March 2018 12:01 Written by  Read 33 times
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A pair of Republican lawmakers is pressing United Airlines for explanations after a dog died in an overhead bin during one of its flights.

In a letter to United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) request that United brief the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by April 6. 

“These incidents follow a troubling record of animal safety on United flights,” the letter reads.

DeSantis and Meadows, who chair the National Security Subcommittee and the Government Operations Subcommittee, respectively, refer to the dog that died aboard a United flight last week and another dog incorrectly sent to Japan. 

The letter from the two lawmakers comes after two senators last week introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent airlines from placing animals in overhead bins. Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced the Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act, which calls on the Federal Aviation Administration to establish rules that would block the airlines from placing animals in overhead bins and impose civil fines when those rules are violated.

Kennedy also sent a letter to United’s president calling the number of animal deaths aboard their flights last year is “inexcusable.”

United said last week it would implement a new policy using "bright colored bag tags" for pet carriers by April.

The recent incidents come nearly one year after a viral video showed a passenger being forcibly dragged off a United flight and thrust the airline into a public image crisis. Lawmakers threatened legislative action last year in response to that video and called for additional consumer protections.

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