Passengers on Delta flights from San Antonio to Atlanta and from Atlanta to New York were treated on Wednesday night to the sight of two penguins waddling down the aisle midway through the flights.
ABC News reports Pete, 6, and Penny, 12, were travelling to New York for the premiere of the upcoming Discovery Channel/BBC series "Frozen Planet," a documentary series narrated by Alec Baldwin. Time reports the screening was held on Thursday at Lincoln Center and was followed by a "polar-themed" party hosted by Baldwin, Glenn Close and Dustin Hoffman.
According to ABC News, Jane Worthington Roth, a passenger on one of the Delta flights, writing on her YouTube page after she uploaded three videos of the one-foot-and-a-half penguins walking on the plane in mid-flight, said: “When we reached cruising altitude, the captain allowed their handler to take them for a stroll up and down the aisle so that everyone could take a look at the cute, 1-foot-tall penguins and get some great photos and videos.”
Passengers were delighted at the sight and gave expressions of admiration of the cute duo. Roth said: “Pete and Penny are obviously enjoying their training to become flight attendants. You’ll note that since they were sitting in first class, they are wearing their tuxedos!”
The passengers were not permitted to touch the birds but could take pictures, and like paparazzi, they shot several photos of the penguin TV celebrities.
Roth wrote: “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen everyone on a plane smiling at the same time!”
Penguins have for long been the best known examples of "flightless birds", but with the achievement of Pete and Penny, legitimate questions are being raised on the appropriateness of continued use of that term to describe penguins.