What’s worse than unexpectedly spotting a rat? Seeing that little pest 35,000 feet in the air in an enclosed airplane with nowhere to run.
A nice getaway turned into a mild freak out for some when a rat was found on a Chinese airplane going from Hangzhou to the southwestern vacation destination Xishuangbanna, according to the Associated Press.
Loong Air wrote on the airline’s official microblog that the flight was forced to return to the Hangzhou airport shortly after takeoff on Friday.
No one knows how the critter found its way onto the flight, but it is possible it could have come with meal service said the official Xinhua News Agency. One an only hope it was discovered before the meals were served. It is, however, certain that it was not brought onboard as a pet.
Though a rodent may make passengers want to jump out of the nearest emergency exit, that isn’t the airline’s only concern.
“Considering the threat to passenger health posed by the rat and the possibility of endangering flight safety by biting through wires, the captain flew back to port in the best interests of public health and safety,” said the airline.
The plane has since been disinfected and fumigated, with no word about the fate of the rat.