A Spirit Airlines statement quoted by Fox News said the stowaway mammal was discovered about 30 minutes into a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Newark, New Jersey.
“It is believed the bat started its journey in Charlotte, flying into an overhead bin while our crews were doing overnight maintenance,” the statement said.
Several passengers captured and shared videos of the bat, initially thought to be a bird, flying in the plane.
@spiritairlines Literally got hit in da head wit a bat this morning. Spirit Airlines strikes again, they made sure I was charged $65 for a carry-on weighing less than 10lbs but cldnt inspect their plane before departure? My #sawmycarryon #butdidntseeabat #shameonspirit pic.twitter.com/tejpqeCEkd— Mikemadbarber (@mikemadbarber) July 31, 2019
One passenger is heard asking, “It’s not a bat, is it?” amid screams of “Oh, my God!”
Peter Scattini, a passenger, said the bat did not make an appearance until about 30 minutes into the flight, unnerving passengers and flight attendants alike.
A Spirit Airlines representative told CNN that animal control officials took the bat off the plane once it landed safely.
"The aircraft was disinfected and searched as a precaution," the representative was quoted as saying. "No one was hurt in this incident, including the bat."
Spirit, a low-cost US domestic carrier based in Florida, was in news this June for banning a passenger for life from the airline after he was caught vaping on board.
Here is how netizens reacted to the viral incident:
Imagine being a bat just trying to save some money on a flight and then everybody yelling at you.— nico (@ChinzTweets) August 2, 2019
I meannnnnn...the airline is named 'Spirit' ♀️— Ray Dennis (@raydennis) August 2, 2019
You know, just your typical emotional support animal— AZ☼ (@azandtheatlas) August 2, 2019