A United Airlines flight from Maui to Newark was delayed on Friday afternoon because a small stowaway bird managed to sneak onboard the Boeing 767, got stuck in the ceiling and refused to deplane. Thankfully, eagle-eyed staff spotted the bird before departure and eventually managed to coax the feathered friend off the plane.
In the end, United flight UA43 was only delayed by around 30 minutes even after parts of the ceiling had to be removed to get access to the bird. Scenes inside the cabin were captured by Zach Honig, an airline blogger who happened to be a passenger onboard the flight.
“We’re going to try something here, they tell us if we shut all the lights off, close all the window shades and, uh, put the window shades down, and place the front door open that will be the only source of light and maybe this small bird will see the light and fly out,” the Captain told passengers over the public address system.
Once the lights were dimmed and window shades were down, hey presto, the bird soon emerged and started to fly around the cabin. It took several United Airlines ground staff to eventually direct the plane through the door and out of the plane.
It then just took a few more minutes to reinstall a ceiling panel that had been removed to get access to the bird and the flight was back underway.
In response to a series of tweets that Zach posted, United said: “We thought they looked a little seedy when they gave us their boarding passes, but they had on im-peck-able disguises”.
Thankfully, the bird was spotted before departure unlike a recent incident onboard an Air India flight from Delhi to Newark. The flight had only just departed when a bat emerged from where it had been hiding and started to fly around the Business Class cabin causing panic and confusion.
With no way to trap the creature, the flight was forced to dump fuel and return to Dehli so that pest control and capture the bat and fumigate the plane.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.