USAirways did nothing wrong when it allowed
a pig to fly first class from Philadelphia to Seattle in October,
the Federal Aviation Administration found.
Maria Tirotta Andrews, the pig’s owner, brought the 300-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Charlotte onto the Boeing 757 on Oct. 17, saying it was a therapeutic companion pet.
“USAirways and its personnel acted in a reasonable and thoughtful manner, based on a legitimate request to transport a qualified individual with a disability and her service animal,” said FAA spokesman Jim Peters.
Andrews said she has a heart condition so severe that she needs the companionship of her pig to relieve stress.
“I have said all along Charlotte was a service animal, allowed to travel with me,” said Andrews, who recently moved to Everett, Wash., from New Jersey.
The FAA found USAirways “acted in a reasonable manner. It was a legitimate request from a passenger with a disability. We consider the matter closed,” Peters said.
Under federal regulations, airlines must permit a service animal to accompany passengers to their seats.
Did Charlotte Really Go Hog Wild? The airline filed a report with the FAA that said the pig acted up when the plane landed, tried to enter the cockpit and refused to leave the galley until a passenger tossed food at her.
Andrews denies that her pig behaved badly.
“My pig did not run around the plane’s aisles. My pig did not run around anywhere,” Andrews said.
Andrews told the airline ahead of time that she would have the pig on the plane, but said it only weighed 13 pounds.
“When they saw it in Philadelphia, they said it was OK to load it on the airplane,” Andrews said.
The airline allowed the pig into first class for free.