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United flight rerouted after a dog was loaded onto the wrong plane

This is the airline's third pet-related mishap in one week.
United Airlines
United AirlinesAP / AP
/ Source: TODAY

You could call these the dog days for United Airlines.

Following two other dog mishaps — one pet died after it was put in an overhead bin, and one was accidentally sent to Japan instead of Kansas City — United faced its third pet-related scandal in one week when a flight had to be diverted due to an unauthorized dog on board.

On Thursday, a dog at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey bound for Akron, Ohio, was accidentally loaded onto another flight to St. Louis. Upon realizing the mistake, United opted to reroute the flight to the dog's intended destination, delaying everyone aboard.

This decision was made in the interest of "[choosing] the fastest route to reunite the dog with his family," United spokesperson Natalie Noonan said in a statement via email to TODAY.

"United Express flight 3996 from Newark to St. Louis diverted to Akron to drop off a pet that had been loaded onto this flight mistakenly," Noonan said. "The pet has been safely delivered to its owner. We provided compensation to all customers on board for the diversion."

United declined to provide additional information about how customers were compensated or how the mistake occurred.

There's not much to say about this week's events except ... woof. We're glad that at least this mishap had a happy ending for the passenger in question.