Bees Delayed a Delta Flight From Houston to Atlanta

The flight was delayed by three hours

As a wise man once said: Not the bees!
Boba Jaglicic/Unsplash

It’s not uncommon to hear reports of passenger jets encountering animals in flight — with complications following. Sometimes those are dramatic, as in the case of the US Airways flight that made an emergency landing in the Hudson River in 2009. But whether they’re disastrous or merely annoying, these incidents generally have one common denominator: they involve birds.

Turns out birds aren’t alone in this, however. This week, a Delta flight from Houston to Atlanta was delayed due to a very different sort of flying creature: bees. You might think that bees would be too small to have any effect on a passenger jet — but evidently, you’d be wrong. (Though to be fair, the same could be said about snakes, and look how that turned out.)

USA Today‘s Zach Wichter has more details about the incident, which resulted in a three-hour delay to the flight. As Delta spokesperson Morgan Durrant explained to the newspaper, “[A] friendly group of bees evidently wanted to talk shop with the winglet of one of our airplanes, no doubt to share the latest about flying conditions at the airport.”

The delays took place prior to boarding; eventually, when the plane moved, the bees took off to congregate in a different location. According to Wichter’s reporting, Delta issued an apology to the delayed passengers. There’s no word yet on whether they received compensation, whether in the form of cash or honey.


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