By Jeremy Ross

(CBS) – A critical part of the Emmy Awards took place on Wednesday: the shipping of the actual award statues to Hollywood.

CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross was at O’Hare International Airport as the figures began their cross-country journey with great fanfare.

Some lucky passengers got to take photos and hold the hand-crafted hardware.

The iconic 6 1/2-pound, gold-plated awards are made by R.S. Owens in Chicago. About 110 boxes filled with the famous statutes were loaded in a United Airlines plane for the four-hour trip to L.A. TSA agents inspected the shipment.

It’s the 17th year United has flown the cherished cargo. Unlike A-list stars, they’re traveling commercial.

The airline says the Emmys landed safely at LAX.

The Emmy Awards will be announced Sunday evening. CBS will air the program beginning at 7 p.m., with “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert doing the emcee honors.