Just as customers were settling in for a long-haul British Airways flight from London to San Francisco, the crew noticed a tiny stowaway. Condé Nast Traveler reports that a tiny mouse was scurrying down the aisle and between the seats of the plane. Cute? Maybe to some, but since mice can chew through wiring and other important things, the crew had to catch the little guy before he could cause major damage.
It took 4 hours and 16 minutes to get a whole new Boeing 777 for the trip, much to the dismay of the fully loaded plane. According to CNBC, the crew did try to make light of the situation with some jokes. The mouse couldn't travel without a passport, they said.
"With service and prices this good, 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," a British Airways representative told CNT. "Everyone holding their own passport is now on their way to California, and we are sorry for the delay."
Since time is money, British Airways may be looking at more than just a few disgruntled customers. The Independent reports that the carrier could face fines of up to £250,000. That doesn't even begin to account for additional fees that may be added. E.U. laws state that customers delayed more than four hours can get up to £515 each. There are even more stipulations surrounding people scheduled to take the flight as a connection in both London and S.F.
There's no word on whether the rodent was chowing down on the cheese in first class or not, but when the plane landed in San Fran, passengers were none the wiser. The Independent added that passengers in California didn't get any info on the rogue mouse. Instead, British Airways simply told them that the delay was due to a "late-arriving aircraft."