Chicago-based United Airlines is accepting responsibility for a dog's in-flight death after a flight attendant ordered its owner to put the pet in the overhead compartment.
"Tonight I was on a plane where I witnessed a @united flight attendant instruct a passenger to place her dog carrier (with dog) in the overhead compartment", Gremminger said.
CBS News reported on the story, which went viral after a passenger on the flight posted a photo of the dog, who was named Papicito, after it died. "She made sure the flight attendant understood there was her dog and when the flight attendant still pushed her".
"I sat behind the family of three and thought myself lucky - who doesn't when they get to sit near a puppy?"
When the plane landed, the dog was dead.
"They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow", he wrote on Facebook.
"The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times", the policy reads.
At least one flight attendant seemed unaware that a live animal was in the carrier, People reported.
"Gremminger stated that the flight attendant denied knowing that a dog was inside the carrier, but that another passenger said he heard the flight attendant say, 'You need to put your dog up here'". "They assured the safety of the family's pet", June Lara wrote. The flight was almost 4 and half hours. "We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them", she said. "We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again", the statement said.
A spokesperson for United could not say if anyone had been disciplined in relation to the incident.
Last year, 18 animals died while being transported on United - there were six cases on all other US carriers combined, according to the Department of Transportation.