Southwest Airlines Flight No. 2197 departed from Oakland at 6:30 a.m. and was headed to Burbank when the crew reported that the aircraft had been struck by lightning somewhere near Salinas, Barnes said.
The pilots decided to return to Oakland, where the plane landed safely. Barnes said the pilots did not declare an emergency and that no injuries were reported.
The passengers were taken off the plane and seated on another flight to Burbank, which departed later in the morning, she said.
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines was not immediately available for comment.