Mice can be cute, but they can also be a nuisance. One mouse in particular proved especially problematic for travelers aboard British Airways Flight 285 from London Heathrow to San Francisco on Wednesday, when they spotted the small rodent aboard the craft just before takeoff.
Passengers were taken off the plane and transferred onto another aircraft which took off some hours later. Those on the flight said they were told rules on airlines meant the plane could not take off with a mouse on board.
Matt Watt tweeted: “Just had my flight to SFO cancelled because of a mouse on board the plane. Could it not get a visa?? #britishairways”. Another wrote: “About to fly to SF. There is a mouse on the plane. We all must get off.” He also wrote: “I’m going to sell this to the movies. It can be the slightly more pedestrian prequel to snakes on a plane. Maybe this is what lured them on?” One passenger told the BBC: “I’m not sure people knew how to react. There was general disbelief.”
According to The Independent, the presence of a mouse, however small, on an aircraft isn’t as harmless as it sounds. Mice can chew through wiring, not to mention the common sense issues that might arise around hygiene, food service, and general public distaste for pests. So when rodents are found on a plane, flight crews need to perform thorough checks before the aircraft is deemed safe for travel.
British Airways said: “We know almost everyone wants to fly with us to San Francisco, but on this occasion there was one very small customer who we had to send back to the gate.
“Everyone with two legs is now on their way to California, and we are sorry for the delay.”