Tiny mouse causes big delay for SFO-bound British Airways passengers

SAN FRANCISCO -- A British Airways plane finally landed at SFO Wednesday night after a rodent forced passengers to suffer through an hours-long delay.

A mouse may seem harmless, but it has the potential to do a lot of damage, which is why British Airways took such drastic measures.

Passengers arrived at San Francisco International Airport exhausted. Their flight from London was delayed more than four hours because of a mouse on board. It was spotted when everyone was buckled up, ready to go.

"Somebody saw a mouse that scurried under one of the doors," said passenger Chris Claeboe. "They kept us on the plane for about 15 minutes, told us we had to get off the plane because we couldn't fly with a mouse."

Passengers went back to the terminal while the airline looked for another Boeing 777. Despite the delay, the airline patrons kept their sense of humor intact.

"It's clear the mouse can't enter U.S. airspace without a passport, but in general I think it makes sense," said passenger Annina Salven. "Because I really wouldn't want to eat food on a plane that had a mouse."

It's unclear how the mouse got on the plane, but the rule is if there is one on board, the aircraft is forbidden to fly because otherwise, the consequences can be dangerous.

"They have the ability to gnaw through a lot of things, including wiring," said aviation expert John Nance. "And this is one of the last things you want -- something gnawing through the wiring on a jet liner, whether it's in flight or not."

When flight 285 was ready to go British Airways said, "Everyone holding their own passport is now on their way to California, we're sorry for the delay."

"I think if you ever see a mouse, you don't tell anybody," passenger Vicky Imber added. "That would be my advice unless you have five hours to kill."
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