A little dog made a big stink…
After a woman flagrantly violated the rules by letting her chihuahua dog out of his pet carrier on a United Airlines flight, the dog relieved himself by defecating all over the woman and her seat.
Chihuahua Relieved Himself On United Airlines Flight, Forcing Hazmat Clean-Up By Flight Attendants
On Monday, February 5, 2024, a woman boarded a United Airlines flight from Denver (DEN) to Portland (PDX) with her dog. The flight took off and proceeded uneventfully until she decided to take her chihuahua out of his cage and hold it in her lap.
The dog responded by defecating all over her and her seat. Passengers around her suddenly smelled the feces. It was so bad for a pregnant woman seated in the row behind that flight attendants were summoned.
Donning hazmat suits, flight attendants cleaned up the mess. Passengers were also provided both wipes and compensation of $50-75 depending upon MileagePlus elite status.
It’s hard to blame the dog here. The woman admitted as she boarded that she was connecting from another flight but had no time to take her dog to a relief area during the layover. Asking a little dog to hold it for hours at a time is difficult.
Furthermore, it appears the woman did absolutely nothing after the dog relieved himself. She failed to even try to clean it herself. That makes it all the more puzzling why at least one passenger seems to shrug off the incident.
One passenger told WGN:
“Obviously you don’t want to be tied to a poop incident right? But we were patient with her, I didn’t lose my cool. I was friendly because it’s an accident. So I think at the end of the day accidents happen, it’s an unfortunate event maybe United can learn something from this and we take something away from it.”
But just what is United supposed to learn from this? Ban all dogs period? Pooping in a cage may have produced the same smell, but it would not have produced the same mess. Flight attendants cannot possibly monitor the cabin perfectly to ensure that (non-service) dogs remain in their carrier. This falls on the passenger.
United’s rules are crystal clear: unless it is a service dog, the animal must remain in the pet carrier.
Addressing the incident, United explained:
“Our inflight crew thoughtfully cleaned the area shortly after customers brought it to our attention. We provided sanitizing wipes and offered travel vouchers to those in the surrounding area.”
That’s all good. But how about a ban for this selfish passenger…or at least her poor dog?