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Mouse on a Plane: Rodent Ground BA Flight

Flyers delayed over four hours while crews sought after unticketed passenger.

Over 300 passengers headed to San Francisco from London aboard a recent British Airways flight were delayed by a stowaway attempting to fly across the Atlantic: a mouse. San Francisco NBC affiliate KNTV reports the flight was grounded for over four hours in an attempt to remove the pest from the plane.

According to those aboard, the March 1 flight was already loaded and pushed back from the gate when the mouse was spotted by a flight attendant. The cabin crew member alerted the captain, who made the decision to return the aircraft. After a 15-minute attempt to remove the mouse, the decision was made to empty the aircraft to ensure the flight was rodent-free. As a result, the flight was delayed by over four hours.

“It is really pretty simple: Someone saw a mouse under one of the doors,” Chris Claeboe, a Bay Area flyer, told KNTV. “They kept us on the plane for about 15 minutes and told us we had to get off because it can’t fly with a mouse.”

Under international regulations, airlines are not allowed to fly with mice and other chewing animals aboard the aircraft. Because mice and other animals can chew through wires aboard the aircraft, flying with an unsecured rodent can pose an inherent risk to flyers, including destroying key control components that can cause an aircraft to crash.

Ultimately, the aircraft was cleared of the mouse and allowed to continue to San Francisco. British Airways did not comment about the fate of the mouse.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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