78 N.D. L. Rev. 687 (2002)
When Pigs Fly: Litigation under the Air Carrier Access Act

handle is hein.journals/nordak78 and id is 699 raw text is: WHEN PIGS FLY:
LITIGATION UNDER THE AIR CARRIER ACCESS ACT
CURTIS D. EDMONDS*
I. INTRODUCTION
On October 17, 2000, Maria Tirotta Andrews, a person with a cardiac
disability, boarded a USAirways plane at the Philadelphia airport bound for
Seattle.' Ms. Andrews was accompanied by what she claimed was a
service animal to help her relieve stress-a 300-pound2 Vietnamese pot-
bellied pig named Charlotte.3 USAirways allowed Ms. Andrews to board
the plane, even going so far as to seat Charlotte and her in first class.4
According to published reports, on arrival at the Seattle airport, Char-
lotte began to misbehave, running loose through the plane and attempting at
one point to enter the cockpit.5 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
officials investigated the incident and found that the airline acted in a
reasonable and thoughtful manner, based on a legitimate request to trans-
port a qualified individual with a disability and her service animal.6 How-
ever, a USAirways spokesman said that the incident would not be repeated.7
The requirement that airlines allow service animals to travel with
passengers who have disabilities is found in the regulations8 enacting the
* Education and Information Technology Specialist, Georgia Institute of Technology; Mem-
ber, State Bar of Texas; J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1994; B.A., Baylor University,
1990. The author would like to thank his colleagues at the Southeast Disability and Business
Technical Assistance Center and the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access.
1. Frank Dougherty, The Pig and 1: It's Just Sow-er Grapes, Jet-Set Pig's Owner Says She
Was Just Moving Pet, PHILA. DAILY NEWS, Nov. 14, 2000, at 3.
2. An internal USAirways memo stated that Ms. Andrews said the pig weighed thirteen
pounds when she made the reservation. Id.
3. Id. Ms. Andrews stated that her doctor recommended that she take the pig along for the
ride. Id.
4. Id.
5. Frank Dougherty, Sooey! Probers Asking Whose Swine Flew, PHILA. DAILY NEWS, Nov.
3, 2000, at 3. Sources stated, You can't believe how that dang pig squealed. It squealed so loud
passengers in the terminal gaped in amazement, their jaws drooping. Id. Other witnesses
claimed the pig deposited a big, steamy mess at the Seattle airport. Dougherty, supra note 1,
at 3.
6. Frank Dougherty, FAA: Unruly Pig Was OK, USAirways Was Right to Allow Sow, PHILA.
DAILY NEWS, Nov. 29, 2000, at 10.
7. Id.
8. 14 C.F.R. § 382.55(a) (1990) (requiring air carriers to allow passengers with disabilities to
travel with service animals). In this instance, the FAA concluded that Charlotte met the regulatory
definition of service animal. See Dougherty, supra note 6, at 10. But see N.D. CENT. CODE §
25-13-01.1 (2002) (limiting the definition of service animals to dogs); TEX. HUM. RES. CODE

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