United Airlines says it has reached 'resolution' with owners of puppy that died after it was placed in plane's overhead bin

  • Kokito, a French bulldog puppy, died after it was placed in an overhead bin in March.
  • United has since changed its pet-transportation program, banning certain breeds.
A United Airlines airplane passes the skyline of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center as it heads to a runway at Newark Liberty Airport on January 20, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey.
Gary Hershorn | Getty Images
A United Airlines airplane passes the skyline of lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center as it heads to a runway at Newark Liberty Airport on January 20, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey.

United Airlines has reached a settlement with the family whose French bulldog puppy died after it was placed in an overhead bin in March.

"We are deeply sorry for this tragic accident and have worked with the Robledo family to reach a resolution," the airline said in a statement. United and Evan Oshan, who said he represented the Robledo family, declined to disclose the terms.

The puppy's death was one in a series of United's high-profile public-relations disasters that included the violent dragging of passenger David Dao off a United Express flight in April 2017 after he refused to make room for commuting crew. United settled with Dao later that month.

United had apologized for Kokito's death aboard the flight in March. A flight attendant had insisted the dog's owner's bag, which contained the puppy, be placed in an overhead bin.

United said the puppy's owner told the flight attendant the dog was in the bag, but the flight attendant did not hear or understand the passenger.

Kokito wasn't United's only pet trouble. Shortly after that incident United flew two other dogs to the wrong destinations, including a German shepherd that it mistakenly sent to Japan. (United chartered a private jet to fly Irgo home.) Last year, a family's spaniel died while in United's care and a giant rabbit that was flying United from London to Chicago also died.

United earlier this month announced it would scale back its pet-transportation program, PetSafe, the biggest animal-transportation program in the U.S. The airline will now only carry dogs and cats and has banned some 20 breeds. It will also not accept animals for transport in several cities including Las Vegas and Phoenix during the hot summer months.