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Stowaway mouse could cost British Airways a fortune

March 3, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

British Airways could end up paying the equivalent of AUD 400,000 in compensation to passengers for delays after a mouse was spotted on one of its B777 aircraft.

Mid-morning flight BA285 was about to depart London Heathrow for San Francisco when someone spotted a mouse aboard.

Takeoff was cancelled and passengers disembarked while another aircraft was found.  Rules state that planes can’t fly with rodents aboard, in case they chew through wiring. Rats are the most worrisome, but mice are also considered a threat.

Passengers tweeted their amazement. “Just had my flight to SFO cancelled because of a mouse on board the plane. Could it not get a visa?? #britishairways.”

Stowaway mouse could cost British Airways a fortune

During the several hours BA took to find a replacement B777, the airline bought lunch for an estimated 200 passengers. The flight took off four hours and 16 minutes late.

Britain’s Independent did some sums, estimating that passengers might be entitled up to EUR 600 (AUD 825) each under EU compensation rules for delays. That being the case, if loadings on the plane were similar to the inbound flight, the bill could come to to GBP 206,000 (AUD 330,400).

Accommodation costs for missed connections could bring the total “within a whisker of GBP 250,000” [AUD 400,100] the news outlet reported.

A BA spokesman told the BBC a “very small customer” had caused the plane to be sent back to the gate.

“Everyone holding their own passport is now on their way to California, and we are sorry for the delay,” the carrier said.

Written by Peter Needham

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