Pigs can't fly: Passenger escorted off US flight after 80-pound 'emotional support' hog is disruptive

'This was not a small pig,' fellow passenger claimed

Rose Troup Buchanan
Saturday 29 November 2014 14:40

An 80-pound pig brought on to a US flight for “emotional support” was asked to leave after the animal squealed and defecated in the aisle of the plane.

Twitter user Rob Phelps snapped the offending animal and its owner as they left the American Airlines flight from Hartlford, Connecticut, to Washington’s Reagon Airport.

Mr Phelps, 65, told the MailOnline that passengers watched in shock as the animal, brought on for “emotional support”, had to be coaxed down the aisle as it emitted squeals “three times louder than a child”.

“It was ridiculous,” he said. “It started to smell and flight attendants told her to clean the mess up.”

The owner of the pig, named Hobie, was permitted to bring the animal on to the flight under new guidelines released by the Department for Transport.

Mr Phelps, who was with his wife at the time, said the woman spoke to Hobie as if he were human, repeatedly calling him a “jerk” for misbehaving.

“There was instant silence. There was a mixture of controllable laughter and shock,” he said when passengers saw the pig. “You couldn't write this.

“I have seen dogs and cats in cages on a plane - but never a pig.

“This was not a small pig. When she held it over her shoulder it reached her waist.

“I don't even know how it got through. You have the TSA and intense security and yet it still was let on board.”

Fellow passenger Jonathan Skolnik, a University of Massachusetts professor who was on the flight, told ABC News he initially thought the pig was a “duffel bag.”

After the woman made for the empty seat beside him, Mr Skolnik realised what he was in for.

“I was terrified, because I was thinking I'm gonna be on the plane with the pig,” he said.

An American Airlines spokesperson confirmed that although passengers are allowed to bring animals, including monkeys, on board as emotional support. They confirmed to ABC News a passenger was asked to leave after her pig became disruptive.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in