Emergency newswires are reporting that Port Authority cops requested that the Emergency Services Unit hustle over to Laguardia's main terminal this afternoon - and with a cage - because there was a monkey on the loose inside the airport. The animal apparently arrived at Gate B6 on Spirit Airlines' Flight 180.
We have so many questions about this incident. Was the monkey traveling as a passenger? Was it a helper monkey like Homer Simpson's Mojo? Are monkeys allowed to travel uncaged aboard an airplane or did its human open the cage after landing? The mind reels, but we can't wait to hear more. Flight 180 originated in Fort Lauderdale, FL; it's unclear whether it arrived on time or not.
Update: Monkey questions answered! We now know that the creature in question was a spider monkey, who stowed away under a man's hat as he traveled from Lima, Peru and caught a connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale. How do Transportation Security Administration officials fail to notice a monkey on the person of someone traveling from South America? Well, we still don't know (hidden under clothes?), but we now know the little monkey was not traveling in a cage. According to Spirit Airlines, "The baby Spider Monkey was clinging to the passenger's pony tail a little under his hat. Then during the flight the monkey started moving around under the hat and passengers noticed that he had a monkey on his head."
Upon discovery, the monkey spent most of the flight calmly in the hands of the passenger, but bolted once the plane reached Laguardia. The man and monkey were detained by authorities, and Animal Care and Control will be taking the monkey.
In other less amusing Port Authority news, the New York Post reports today that Newark, Laguardia, and JFK were among the lowest-ranked of the nation's 32 major airports when it came to on-time arrivals and departures. Newark Airport was the absolute worst in the country, with 47.8% of all flights arriving behind schedule. Kennedy was close behind, with a 47.2% late-arrival rate. Laguardia barely distinguished itself by limiting its late arrivals to 45.7% of all flights.