Lawsuit On The Cards After Dog Dies On Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines could face legal action after passengers today shared that their dog passed away on one of the carrier’s flights. The travelers’ English bulldog sadly died while flying to Honolulu, Hawaii from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243 N384HA (2)
The Honolulu-based carrier could be in trouble following the sad incident. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A traumatic return home

Aulani Kupahu was traveling with her partner on Friday, two days after their dog was deemed healthy following an evaluation at a vet. Sadly, the couple’s pet died while being transported, at the age of one.

The passengers’ paid $10,000 for the dog. However, as many pet owners know, it’s not about the money. The death of a pet can be an emotionally scarring situation. As a result, Kupahu is frustrated with the way Hawaiian Airlines has responded to the situation.

“The first phone call was basically Tofu died. That’s it,” Kupahu shared, as reported by Hawaii News Now.

“Someone will be in touch with you. We waited, waited. Nothing. We never got no email – nothing. As far as Hawaiian Airlines reaching out to us, it was just those two phone calls, but I mean, I don’t know what the reason for them even calling. They have no answers for us.”

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-243 N389HA (2)
Hawaiian Airlines was already met with legal action last week as staff members reportedly filed a class-action lawsuit against the carrier’s vaccine mandate. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A word from the carrier

Hawaiian Airlines has since told Simple Flying that it takes great care when carrying animals on its services and has been in communication with the owner of the pet since Friday. Nonetheless, the company expressed its remorse while it awaits necropsy results. Overall, the firm highlighted that it is sad to hear of the dog’s death.

The airline added that it remains the only US commercial airline that accepts snub-nosed dogs and enforces stricter shipping processes for the safe handling of them. These canines have been known to suffer more frequent respiratory issues than other breeds.

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Recent experiences

Notably, there has been an increase in airlines cutting certain animal flying services. The Department of Transport (DOT) has taken a stronger stance regarding service animals, no longer classing emotional support animals in this group. As a result, many carriers began banning emotional support animals on board an aircraft, with only trained service dogs allowed. So, we are seeing more pets in the hold rather than the cabin these days.

Dog with boarding pass in cabin
Whether in the cabin or the hold, special care taken needs to be taken with animals. Photo: Getty Images

While it’s not a common occurrence, it’s always sad to learn when animals die while traveling. In July last year, another Hawaiian Airlines passenger reported that his dog died on board. There have been other cases around the world. For instance, at the end of 2019, a dog died after being left out in the sun in Sydney while in Qantas care.

One of the most troubling dog-related reports in recent times was when 38 dead dogs were found on a Ukraine International Airlines flight to Toronto in 2020. Overall, airlines will be keen to avoid such cases from happening again.

What are your thoughts about Hawaiian Airlines potentially facing a lawsuit after a dog passed away on a flight? What do you make of the overall situation? Let us know what you think in the comment section.