Lately, it seems like united airlines has been having some problems with bad happenings aboard their flights. Most prominent of course is the recent incident involving the forced removal of passenger David Dao from his seat after he refused to give up his place to accommodate some United crew members also headed for his destination in Louisville, all because their flight was overbooked.

Then, much earlier than this, there’s also the unfortunate death of a live animal, a beautiful golden retriever, traveling on a UA flight’s cargo hold from Detroit to Portland last February.

Unfortunately for UA, such a tragic event has just recurred on one of their aircraft, much to the company’s dismay.

Simon the bunny

The animal in question was Simon, a 3-foot long Continental Giant rabbit that was raised in the UK by rabbit breeder Annette Edwards. The poor 10-month old bunny, despite certifications that he was in good health, was found dead last April 19 in his shipping crate on a UA flight at (for a rather ironic pun) O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, having just come in from a transatlantic flight direct from London’s Heathrow.

Simon was being shipped overseas by Edwards to his new American owner, and the London-Chicago flight was but the first leg of a connecting flight still in store for the bunny, had he survived.

Edwards spoke about being clueless regarding the circumstances of Simon the bunny's passing, saying, "It's never happened before because if a rabbit has a full health check you don't expect them to die."

One remarkable fact about Simon was that he had been the offspring of a Guinness World Record holder. His sire Darius, still alive, is the current “World’s Longest Rabbit” in the book.

Even sadder was Edwards’ estimate that Simon might have grown to surpass his daddy in length eventually.

More apologies

Needless to say, United Airlines is back in damage control mode in the wake of Simon the bunny’s passing aboard one of their planes, what with social media still hounding them over David Dao and the prior dead dog.

Their official statement read, "The safety and well-being of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team."

UA assures that they have been in contact with Edwards and other parties involved, and offered assistance while reviewing the incident. If there’s any comfort in this, it’s that the deaths of animals in flights is rather rare in the grand scheme of things; 2016 statistics report animal deaths in airline transit as being in the mere double digits compared to a total of over half a million.

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