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Air India

What’s Small, Brown and Can Delay an Air India Flight for 12 Hours?

What’s Small, Brown and Can Delay an Air India Flight for 12 Hours?
Jennifer Billock

A rodent stowaway on a recent Air India flight from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam caused a massive flight delay, stalling the plane at the airport for nearly 12 hours as airline staff tried to get rid of the intruder—a rat—and the plane was cleaned and fumigated per airline policy before it could take off.

An Air India flight from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam, meant to take off at 6:10 a.m., was delayed by nearly 12 hours because someone spotted a rat on the plane shortly before takeoff. Arline staff had to trap and get rid of the rat, and then the plane had to be cleaned and sanitized per airline policy before being allowed to take off—which it finally did at 5:30 p.m.

Passengers were understandably angry, taking their complaints to Twitter.

Another user tweeted: “@DGCAIndia: Rat menace delays AI 952 by 08 hrs 15 min which later becomes AI452 I.E. VZG-DEL. Spotting of rat is a serious case of complacency. Lot of passengers stranded at VZG Airport. Flight boarding still not commenced. Aviation ministry pls look into the matter,” reported by the Times of India.

This isn’t the first time rats have caused an issue on Air India flights. In 2017, a flight was delayed for more than nine hours and then in 2015, a flight had to return to the airport after someone spotted a rat.


[Featured Image: Shutterstock]


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View Comments (5)


  1. Gynob001

    November 20, 2019 at 4:06 am

    Good for Air India which took immediate action.

  2. fotographer

    November 20, 2019 at 4:19 am

    A lot of the smaller airports in India, are very close to farming areas…
    so rats, who of course will eat the crop, easily make their way to the airfield..
    rather see that , then a roach in my meal.

  3. SilverJack

    November 20, 2019 at 6:13 am

    I was under the impression that all Air India flights had rats on them. It’s in their brochure.

  4. Gizzabreak

    November 20, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Indian airline caterers should be taking more care with their food security.

  5. SamirD

    August 7, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Welcome to the third world in the sky! lol! Reminds me of the airplane scenes from ‘The Golden Child’.

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