American Family's Dog Ends Up in Japan After Second United Airlines Pet "Error" in Two Days

The United flight mixup comes just a day after the death of a dog in an overhead bin.

Just yesterday, United Airlines provoked widespread outrage when the story circulated that a dog died after a flight attendant required a passenger to stow the puppy in the overhead bin. And unfortunately, that news is followed swiftly by another story involving a family pet and an airline mistake. 

As part of their move from Oregon on Tuesday, the Swindle family flew into Kansas City on United. According to KCTV5 News, the family's 10-year-old German shepherd was required to fly in a kennel in a plane’s cargo hold on a separate flight at a slightly later time in order to make the trek.

However, when the family went to United’s cargo facility to pick up their dog, they found another dog entirely — a Great Dane. Their dog had accidentally flown on a plane bound for Japan; the Great Dane was the one meant to fly that 6,000-mile trip instead. 

At first, United informed the family that their dog could be stuck in Japan for two weeks in order to meet quarantine regulations — but the airline was actually able to intervene, locate the dog, arrange a vet exam, and send the dog home, while covering the cost of the family's hotel near the airport.

“At this point, all I can do is be hopeful that my dog is going to be OK and return safely," Kara Swingle told KCTV5. "I don’t know what else to do at this point. I can’t cry anymore. I’ve cried too much."

A rep for United provided this statement to KCTV5:

“An error occurred during connections in Denver for two pets sent to the wrong destinations. We have notified our customers that their pets have arrived safely and will arrange to return the pets to them as soon as possible. We apologize for this mistake and are following up with the vendor kennel where they were kept overnight to understand what happened.”

It's another big PR problem for the airline, which has had its share of them. And they seem to occur in high-profile clusters: Last April, a famous pet bunny died in transitteens in leggings were barred from flying; and a viral video showed a bloody passenger being dragged forcibly off an overbooked flight.

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