United Airlines records highest number of animal incidents in 2017


HOUSTON – United Airlines recorded the highest number of incidents involving animals of any airline last year, according to a federal report issued last month.

The annual report compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation showed the total number of animal deaths, injuries and losses by airlines in 2017.

Of the 17 airlines that carried animals last year, four reported incidents involving animals. A total of 40 incidents were recorded among 17 airlines that transported a total of 506,994 animals.

The report showed that United transported a total of 138,178 animals last year -- the largest number of any airline.

The report also showed that a total of 18 animal deaths were reported by United in 2017. That was three times higher than the total number of deaths reported by the other three airlines that reported incidents involving animals.

United reported a total of 13 injuries to animals last year, which is about six times higher than the total number of injuries reported by the other three airlines.

Of the animal deaths United reported, 12 were dogs, three were cats, two were geckos and one was a bird. Causes of death ranged from natural to heatstroke to anxiety. One of the dogs died after it escaped from its carrier and was run over by a vehicle.

To view the full report, click here.

Consumers can file a complaint against airlines with the Transportation Department and view month-by-month reports at Transportation.gov.

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