There were 101 passengers and eight crew members aboard Flight 300 out of John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK). No injuries were reported, American Airlines said in a statement.
Officials did not elaborate on what exactly the “object” was that the aircraft struck while in the air.
The flight, destined for Los Angeles International Airport, took off from JFK at 8:40 p.m. local time and landed safely back in New York at 9:09 p.m.
The airline apologized to passengers in a statement and said they would be boarding a new aircraft to continue their travel plans.
The airline said a team was reviewing the incident and inspecting the Airbus A321 aircraft that had struck the object.