United Airlines Under Fire Again After Family's German Shepherd Is Mistakenly Sent to Japan

Animals - Inside Edition Staff

A Kansas family says United Airlines mistakenly flew their German shepherd to Japan in another black eye for the air carrier.

It all started when Kara Swindle was flying home to Wichita from Oregon Tuesday night with her two children and Irgo, their 10-year-old family dog, KCTV reported. 

But when they landed in Kansas City, Swindle says United Airlines staff gave her a Great Dane instead.

That's when Swindle said she was told her dog was actually on a flight to Japan, the intended destination for the Great Dane.

United paid for Swindle and her children to stay at a hotel near the airport Tuesday night while the issue was sorted.

Thankfully, airport officials were able to locate Irgo when his flight landed in Japan, but Swindle said she remains worried about Irgo's safety.

"He is a 10-year-old dog, and he’s never been on a flight before," she said. "I honestly don’t know if he’s going to survive this flight."

A spokesperson for United issued the following statement:

"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."

This is the second dog-related incident in a few days for which United has received a heap of negative publicity.

Kokito, a 10-month-old French bulldog, was in its traveling case Monday and stored underneath a seat on a United Airlines flight from Houston to New York City when a flight attendant ordered the dog's owner to place the animal in the overhead bin, according to the owners and other passengers aboard the plane.

"I said it's a dog, it's a dog — it can't breathe there," 11-year-old Sophia Ceballos said Wednesday on CBS This Morning. "It doesn't matter. She felt the dog and she put him up there."

Kokito could be heard barking and yelping in the bin, but after about an hour, he went silent, according to reports. He was later found dead.

In a statement, United said the flight attendant was unaware there was a dog in the carrier. the airline called the incident "a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again."

RELATED STORIES