The pilot of a Virgin America plane declared an emergency and returned to Denver's airport after the aircraft was apparently hit by a bird shortly after takeoff.

Flight 865 was headed from Denver to San Francisco when the plane was struck Monday. Airline officials say the plane continued to operate normally, and the passengers and crew were never in danger.

Workers scrambled to find passengers alternative travel options as a crew inspected the Airbus 320.

Airline officials did not say how many people were on board.