Watch a Bird Try to Hitch a Ride on a Cross Country United Airlines Flight

Smart plan, minus the lack of a boarding pass.

Airplanes at San Francisco International Airport
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

If you’re a bird trying to get from California to New Jersey, getting on a plane is probably more efficient than flapping your wings for about 3,000 miles. and that’s exactly what this little bird tried to do on United Airlines Flight 1796 according to NBC New York.

A passenger caught the unlikely stowaway on camera flying around in the plane’s cabin, presumably trying to find its seat. The bird snuck in during boarding in San Francisco, which to everyone's delight was temporarily halted while the flight crew tried to kick him out. Apparently, the poor fella didn’t have a boarding pass.

The bird was ultimately caught using someone's hat. After it was released outside of the plane to fly among much bigger, man-made birds, boarding was able to resume normally.

"The flight was delayed shortly for a ‘maintenance issue’ -- turns out the issue was a bird was on the plane," one of the passengers said, according to NBC. So if you ever think it’s BS when you’re told your flight is delayed for a “maintenance issue,” sometimes it is. We suppose removing a bird from the plane could be considered maintenance, but not in the traditional sense.

"Our employees safely removed the little bird who apparently wanted to check out our big metal bird in San Francisco," a United Airlines spokesperson said in a statement. If that little guy is trying to get to Newark on its own power, we hope he's having a nice trip now.