Couple plans to sue Hawaiian Airlines after dog dies on flight

A Hawaii couple plans to sue Hawaiian Airlines after their 1-year-old English pit bull died while traveling on a flight from Las Vegas back home to Honolulu. 

Hawaii Airlines’ spokesperson Marrisa Villegas provided a statement to FOX News, saying the airline aims to “take great care” when transporting animals on flights, while also expressing remorse as they await the necropsy results for the fallen pet.

“We were saddened to learn of the passing of our customer’s dog. We have been in frequent communication with the pet’s owner since Friday while we conduct our investigation and wait for necropsy results from the State of Hawaii Quarantine. We are told it will take 2-4 weeks for results to be ready,” Villegas said.

While Hawaiian Air claims to have been in “frequent” communication with the dog’s owner, Aulani Kupahu, he begs to differ.

“The first phone call was basically Tofu died. That’s it,” Kupahu says. “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.”

The owner reportedly bought the dog for $10,000.

This is the second time a dog has died within the past year for Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaii News Now reports that a man claimed his 2-year-old pit bull died while on a flight from Hawaii to Seattle in July 2021. A Hawaii airlines spokesperson says the pit bull was a snub-nosed dog as well.

Villegas adds that the airline will continue to be the only U.S. passenger carrier to accept snub-nosed dogs, which are “more susceptible” to respiratory issues than other dogs.

“It’s important to note that we enforce stricter shipping procedures for the safe handling of snub-nosed dogs,” she says.

The airlines will have their hands filled with legal matters if the couple carries forward with the lawsuit. It will be the transportation company’s second suit within the past week. Last week, seven Hawaiian Airlines employees reportedly filed a class-action lawsuit against the company’s vaccine mandate.

Back in 2019, a Hawaiian Airlines flight traveling from Honolulu to New York City was reportedly diverted to San Francisco after a flight attendant suffered a fatal heart attack while on board. 

Claudia has worked as a journalist for various print-based magazines for more than 5 years. She brings together substantial news pieces from various parts of the US and rest of the World.