A woman on a USAIR flight to Washington at Bradley International Airport was ordered off a flight after she carried on her 70-pound pig service animal. The woman said that the pig was needed to deal with her anxiety issues.
The anxiety of passengers however peaked when the pig pooped in the aisle and began to squeal.
Emotional support animals are allowed on commercial flights under federal rules. Notably, in June 2004, the FAA felt the need to issue a bulletin on “guidance about unusual service animals.” As a general rule, such animals are allowed to sit at the feet of a passenger or in some cases on his or her lap:
A. Placement. A service animal may be placed at the feet of a person with a disability at any bulkhead seat or in any other seat as long as when the animal is seated/placed/curled up on the floor, no part of the animal extends into the main aisle(s)of the aircraft, the service animal is not at an emergency exit seat and the service animal does not extend into the foot space of another passenger seated nearby who does not wish to share foot space with the service animal.
B. Placement of lap held service animals. Lap held service animals (such as a monkey used by a person with mobility impairments) are discussed in the preamble to DOT Part 382 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel, issued in 1990(FR Vol. 55, No. 44 361990, pg. 8042). They are service animals that need to be in a persons lap to perform a service for that person. This service animal may sit in that persons lap for all phases of flight including ground movement, take off and landing provided that the service animal is no larger than a lap-held child (a child who has not reached his or her second birthday).
This rule does not apply to certain “unusual animals”:
Unusual Service Animals. On May 9, 2003, the Department of Transportation issued Guidance Concerning Service Animals in Air Transportation. Unusual service animals pose unavoidable safety and/or public health concerns and airlines are not required to transport them. Snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders certainly fall within this category of animals. The release of such an animal in the aircraft cabin could result in a direct threat to the health or safety of passengers and crewmembers. For these reasons, airlines are not required to transport these types of service animals in the cabin, and carriage in the cargo hold will be in accordance with company policies on the carriage of animals generally.
Now here is the interesting factoid. Pigs are expressly mentioned as permitted on a case-by-base basis:
Other unusual animals such as miniature horses, pigs and monkeys should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Factors to consider are the animals size, weight, state and foreign country restrictions, and whether or not the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or cause a fundamental alteration (significant disruption) in the cabin service. If none of these factors apply, the animal may accompany the passenger in the cabin. In most other situations, the animal should be carried in the cargo hold in accordance with company policy.
The large pooping, squealing pig was reject in this case to the relief of the other passengers.
Source: ABC News