This year has seen airline incidents flaring up in the news. #united airlines has the dubious honor of leading this trend, thanks to certain publicized mishaps aboard their aircraft in the last month or so. There was, of course, the big mistake with the unfortunate passenger David Dao, and then there’s the matter of #Simon, the giant Continental rabbit that was found dead in his carrying crate while being shipped across the Atlantic to Chicago.

Regarding David Dao, he has somehow come to a settlement with United over his being ejected from an over-booked flight. But the matter of Simon the bunny is only heating up, with his would-be owners from America now planning to take #Legal Action against the carrier.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Death of a would-be giant

Simon was a 3-foot long rabbit that was sired from Darius, the current Guinness World Record holder for being the biggest bunny in the world. He was brought from a London-based breeder by a group of Iowan property owners with the intention of making Simon a star attraction for the Iowa State Fair. It was hoped that Simon, only 10 months old, would eventually grow to maturity with a size surpassing his father Darius and become the new world’s largest rabbit. His breeder had opined that such could be the case.

But the discovery of Simon dead aboard the United Airlines flight that brought him from London to Chicago changed those plans. The buyers from Iowa, who pooled together $2,330 to buy the bunny, have gotten together to threaten legal action against UA unless they are compensated for their loss.

Advertisements

Their lawyer Guy Cook is also calling for the airline to conduct a new going-over of their company policies towards transporting animals in their aircraft.

United itself has been in regular contact with Simon’s British breeder for some time now. However, Cook has said on behalf of his clients that this step was insufficient to address the matter thoroughly.

Lost evidence

No conclusion has been made yet as to the reasons for Simon’s death. Staff from his United Airlines flight reported that after touching down at O’Hare International Airport, they checked up on the rabbit and found him in “apparent good condition.” Another check of his shipping crate a half hour later noted that Simon was well enough to move around his container. But a follow-up inspection by staff reported the bunny as “motionless.” Further examination revealed that Simon had died.

Another point that Guy Cook is questioning was United’s action of having Simon’s carcass cremated without first getting permission from either his breeder or his owners from Iowa, condemning it as “destruction of evidence.” The legal case filed against the carrier demands that they publicized their whole account of Simon’s death, including CCTV footage.