Pig boards plane, is asked to leave for being disruptive

Owner tethered the animal to the arm rest of a seat

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Passengers on a plane in the United States were stunned when a large pig boarded their flight.

A woman carrying the hog joined the US Airways flight out of the state of Connecticut this Wednesday.

Jonathan Skolnik, a US academic who was a passenger on the flight, told ABC News he initially mistook the pig for a duffel bag.

"But it turns out it wasn't a duffel bag,” he said. “We could smell it and it was a pig on a leash.”

“She tethered it to the arm rest next to me and started to deal with her stuff, but the pig was walking back and forth. I was terrified, because I was thinking I'm gonna be on the plane with the pig,” Mr Snolnik explained.

The pig, he guessed, probably weighed around 30kgs.

Journalists across the globe raced to make obvious jokes about pigs flying when the story broke earlier today – though the animal never actually left the ground.

The pig abruptly left the flight before it took off. The airline said it had been asked to leave after it became disruptive.

A spokesperson explained that the pig was brought aboard as an “emotional support animal”.