It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, It’s a Bird ON a United Plane!

Last night United’s San Francisco – Newark redeye, flight UA1796, was delayed for a much shorter period of time than you’d expect when when a bird found itself trapped and flying around inside of the airline’s Big Metal Bird.

The aircraft pushed back about half an hour late, made up time in the air, and arrived at Newark 12 minutes behind schedule (anything within 15 minutes is considered on time).

It’s actually not that uncommon for birds to fly with people in an aircraft. Qatar Airways even has a bird policy. Each is permitted to bring one dead animal on the plane because they’re allowed one carrion.

In fact birds can be more dangerous when they’re outside of a plane than when they’re inside.

United’s Newark-bound stowaway was captured and released. When it arrived at Newark on its own it declared, “boy are my arms tired.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Glad to know our “avian handling classes” are working.
    After our poor Dr Dao incident we are currently requiring all GA’s, FA’s and flight deck personnel to learn how to handle ferrets and squirrels.
    BTW, besides Air Marshals we decided to add a veterinarian to most flights. (The additional cost is covered by the recent increase in baggage fees)

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