US airlines pressured by lawmakers to improve travel for pets after United incidents

(FOX News) - Two U.S. lawmakers are taking action following a tumultuous week of public relations snafus for United Airlines, co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to make the transport of animals safer during commercial flights.

Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat, introduced the bill, known as the Welfare of Our Furry Friends (WOOFF) Act, on Thursday, which would prohibit putting animals in overhead compartments on aircraft on flights. The filed legislation, which would also direct the Federal Aviation Administration to impose civil fines if the act is violated.

"I hate to have to sponsor a bill to legislate common sense and common decency, but the airlines - United in particular, though I think it's trying to do better - is not doing an especially good job," Kennedy told Dagen McDowell during an interview on Saturday.

The latest incident involving a pet on a United flight occurred Friday, when an aircraft was diverted after the airline realized it loaded an animal onto the wrong flight. Earlier that week, on Tuesday, a family's 10-year-old German shepherd was flown to Japan instead of Kansas City. Just a day earlier, a 10-month-old dog died after a flight attendant reportedly forced the puppy's owner to put the animal in an overhead compartment.

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