Dog gone: United Airlines mistakenly flies family German shepherd to Japan

German shepherd, 10, was meant to fly from Oregon to Kansas City and airline is investigating after family were instead handed a great Dane

United Airlines is investigating after mistakenly flying a Kansas family’s dog to Japan.

KCTV reports that Kara Swindle and her two children flew from Oregon to Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday on a United flight.

They went to a cargo facility to pick up 10-year-old Irgo, a German shepherd, but were instead given a great Dane.

Swindle, of Wichita, Kansas, learned Irgo had been put on a flight to Japan, where the great Dane was supposed to go.

Airline officials in Japan put Irgo on a flight back to Kansas City.

It was not clear when the dog would arrive.

The news of Irgo’s unplanned odyssey comes as United admits another dog died after a flight attendant forced it to travel in an overhead bin on a Houston-to-New York flight.

On United Flight 1284 on Monday, a woman who was flying with children and a small dog was pressured by a flight attendant to put her dog in overhead storage during the three-and-a-half-hour flight.

According to fellow passenger Maggie Gremminger, the woman wanted to keep the dog, which was in a small carrying bag, under her seat, but the flight attendant insisted that she put the animal overhead.

“At the end of the flight, the woman found her dog, deceased. She sat in the airplane aisle on the floor crying, and all of surrounding passengers were utterly stunned,” Gremminger wrote in a series of tweets alongside a picture of the woman and her children.

United called the incident “a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin”.

This is not the first time United has come under scrutiny for its treatment of animals. Last year, the carrier was sued by the owners of a giant rabbit that died on one of its flights.

Some 24 pets died while flying with US carriers last year, 18 of them with United, according to the Department of Transportation.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report