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Pigs Fly First Class On Us Airways

Source: Archived Content

Date: Nov 29, 2000

Of all the incidents I've read about in the airline industry, this one is my all-time favorite:

On October 17, 2000, a 250 pound pig flew First Class from Philadelphia to Seattle on US Airways Flight #107.

No, I mean a real pig!  Like the kind you usually find on a farm.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News as well as Airwise, here's what happened:  The pig's two women owners marched straight up to the ticket counter with a doctor's note indicating that the pig was to be used as a "service animal," similar to a Seeing-Eye dog.

Apparently, the flight's Captain didn't mind the four-legged guest because the plane began it's normal takeoff.  During the actual flight the pig was calm and slept like any good passenger should.

Once the plane landed in Seattle however, pig began to freak out, squealing loudly (the poor animal was probably terrified by the noise), and charging throughout the aircraft.  The pig even charged the cockpit door!  At the gate, the U.S. Airways crew had to throw food into the galley (where the pig was hiding) to lure him out into the aisle, near the main exit.  The pig's owners and some other passengers then helped physically push the creature off the plane.

The pig didn't bother to thank the crew, but instead defecated right on the jetway. May I point out that at least the animal had the courtesy to wait and defecate upon arrival.  Some 1st Class passengers prefer to use Queen Carts while in flight.

The story doesn't end here, it gets even more bizarre:  The FAA is actually using tax dollars to question each and every crew member about the incident.   "We're looking at whether or not the airline complied with its own plan for the transportation of animals," an FAA spokesman told a reporter for Philadelphia Daily News.  The FAA also mentioned that, "Although the pig slept through most of the flight, the FAA must determine if it presented a safety hazard."  So what does an investigation like that cost?

A spokesman for US Airways told the Philadelphia Daily News that the pig did indeed fly in First Class.  Enough said there.

Now here's an important point that is worth investigating: Who was eligible for frequent flyer miles on that flight?  The pig's owners or the pig himself?

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