Prince William delights passengers when he boards commercial flight from New York to Washington DC

Some members of the American public were delighted when they had a surprise passenger on their flight from New York to Washington DC first thing on Monday morning. Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, opted to take a commercial flight to go to the White House to meet President Barack Obama, instead of taking a private jet.

A flurry of excitement was sparked when the royal boarded the plane, with passengers reaching for their mobile phones to snap a photograph of the Prince, whose short visit to the USA has provoked a case of royal fever.

Passenger Sam Kim posted a shot on Instagram of the Prince searching for his seat, with the caption: "Our flight was delayed and a caravan of black suburbans pulled up to the plane.

"Then the most unexpected guest stepped onto our DC shuttle flight this morning."

Another passenger snapped a photo of William about to take a seat. Alongside the picture he tweeted: "Flying with Prince William to DC !! #PrinceWilliam #DukeofCambridge #USAirways @AmericanAir @USAirways."

CNN journalist Anderson Cooper tweeted the news of the star passenger to his more than five million followers.

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"Prince William just got on my DC shuttle flight", he announced on Twitter, before joking, "I'm hoping this means an on time departure".

After a smooth flight, William was given a tour of the White House by Vice-President Joseph Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden ahead of his meeting with President Obama.

With the president himself, he found himself talking about his and Kate's fast-approaching arrival – due next year.

"Last time, I remember when George was born, I forgot to work out whether it was a boy or a girl," he said. "The excitement of the event and everything else was just chaos.

You are suddenly... well actually it's a boy. So now, it's good."

"It's going to be interesting next year. A busy year next year," he added.

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