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  Pig Flies First Class Across U.S.

The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 27, 2000; 9:26 p.m. EDT

PHILADELPHIA –– Yes, a pig really flew – first class.

It flew US Airways, and the company, embarrassed, says it's never going to let it happen again.

On Oct. 17, the six-hour flight from Philadelphia to Seattle carried 201 passengers – 200 people and one hog, which sat on the floor in the first row of first class.

"We can confirm that the pig traveled, and we can confirm that it will never happen again," US Airways spokesman David Castelveter said. "Let me stress that. It will never happen again."

Sources familiar with the incident told the Philadelphia Daily News in Friday's editions that the hog's owners convinced the airline that the animal was a "therapeutic companion pet," like a guide dog for the blind.

The pig was traveling with two unidentified women who claimed they had a doctor's note that allowed them to fly with the animal, according to an internal airline report. US Airways and Federal Aviation Administration rules allow passengers to fly with service animals.

The animal became unruly as the plane taxied toward the Seattle terminal, the report said, running through the jet, squealing and trying to get into the cockpit.

"Many people on board the aircraft were quite upset that there was a large uncontrollable pig on board, especially those in the first-class cabin," the incident report stated.

The pig made it off the plane but continued squealing inside the Seattle airport.

FAA officials in Seattle said they were unfamiliar with the incident but promised to investigate.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

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