Passengers get Oscar surprise on United Airlines 757

10 Feb

Passengers on a Chicago-to-Los Angeles United Airlines flight Thursday got as close to the Hollywood red carpet as most of us will ever get.

That’s after customers onboard United Flight 531 from Chicago to Los Angeles got to hold and pose for pictures with Oscar – as in the iconic statuette presented at the annual Academy Awards in Hollywood.

There were actually two Oscars on the flight. And The Associated Press notes that they were “not just any Oscars. These guys will be presented for best picture at this year’s Academy” later this month.”


The Oscars were flying on the flight along with film academy president Tom Sherak, who was transporting 42 of the trophies from Chicago’s R.S. Owens foundry to California for the 84th annual Academy Awards, which will be presented Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre.

Only two Oscars flew in the cabin, though they were a hit with passengers.

AP writes passengers on the flight “used cellphones and pocket cameras to snap photos with the Oscars as airline workers held a show-related trivia contest, awarding hoodies and hats from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. … Nearly everyone on board held one of the Oscars, and the 13 1/2-inch tall statuette surprised them with his heft. Made of a proprietary metal called brittanium and coated in 24-karat gold, Oscar weighs 8 1/2-pounds.”


“This is the closest I’m ever going to be to having one, so I’m enjoying it,” Rockford Yapp of Chicago told AP as he held one of the Oscars. AP notes he “also won an Oscar sweatshirt because he was sitting in the 84th seat on the plane,” a nod to the 84th anniversary of the event.

“My kids are going to be so excited!” another passenger – Heather Boyd, of Chicago – told AP. “The pictures are going on Facebook as soon as I get on the ground.”


Even the flight crew got involved in the act, with Capt. Mel Mason Jr. getting a chance to pose with Oscar in the cockpit of his Boeing 757.

“It’s a special treat. We want everyone to enjoy the flight and enjoy the show,” said Capt. Mel Mason Jr.


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