Bird on a plane delays United Airlines flight from Hawaii during busy Fourth of July travel weekend

Descending into Maui's Kahului Airport.

Descending into Maui’s Kahului Airport.

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On what some predict may be one of the busiest weekends for Fourth of July travel ever, a United flight from Kahului, Maui was delayed on Friday for an unexpected reason: a small, winged stowaway had snuck aboard and was causing a commotion. Passengers on the Newark-bound flight recorded the airline staff’s work to corral the bird and tweeted their experience with the obligatory bird puns and the good spirits of people who have just been on a Hawaiian vacation.

One of those passengers, Zach Honig, a writer at the travel website The Points Guy, posted footage of the United flight crew instructing passengers to close the window shades to help oust the bird from the plane. The pilot explains the plan: darken the inside of the plane and open the door at the front so the bird can “see the light and fly out.” And, sure enough, after a few minutes of coaxing, the stowaway flew to freedom and the flight was soon in the air. 

The best part of the avian ordeal? The resulting puns: 

Even United Airlines got in on the action, responding to Honig’s thread with this delightful bit of airline security humor:

As flight delays go, it sure beats the staffing and airplane shortages responsible for the hundreds of flights being canceled by Southwest and American Airlines for the second weekend in a row this week. 

United Airlines Boeing jet airplane. 

United Airlines Boeing jet airplane. 

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