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Pampered pooch! Giant dog flying first class stuns airline passengers

Due to rescue dog Hank's large size, he had to fly first class in his own seat, something that stunned passengers.
/ Source: TODAY

The first-class cabin on commercial airlines is typically reserved for VIPs, celebrities and the wealthy.

So when a rather unique passenger took up shop in the elite section on a flight from Los Angeles, a number of heads turned.

Hank, an obese rescue dog, was wheeled onto an American Airlines flight on Oct. 24 and was treated just like the rest of the clientele.

Sitting with his owner Kari Whitman, the hefty pooch was pampered by both stewardesses and curious passengers.

Several flyers were in awe of the dog's sheer size, prompting many to take photos.

A snap of Hank being rolled in his doggy bed cart posted by Twitter user @madeleinedoux was retweeted almost 8,000 times.

Hank doesn't seem to be bothered by the attention or stresses of traveling — perhaps because this isn't his first trip.

The L.A.-based canine has been to Aspen, Denver and Boulder, Colorado, according his own Instagram account @hanktheworldtraveler.

He's even become a celebrity at home with people stopping to take pictures of him while out in Beverly Hills, something Whitman is happy about.

The interior designer and founder of Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue in Beverly Hills often uses the hashtag #savealife and #rescuedog on her posts. Lately, she's been tagging her shelter in an attempt to use Hank's notoriety to raise awareness of shelter animals.

Due to an illness, Hank has gained weight and can barely move, but Whitman is working to get him to shed some pounds by putting him on a raw diet of vegetables and meats.

"He only eats a cup of food and day with as many baby carrots that he wants and one bully stick," she wrote in a post.

It seems her dedication to Hank is helping.

She shared a recent video of Hank walking on his own, writing, "Hanky on the move! #hankthetank #hankgettingbetter #usingmylegs."