Rat Boards Alaska Airlines Flight, Causes Cancellation

Filed Under: Alaska

While it might sound like something funny that’s right out of a movie, rats on a plane can be a serious problem. Not only do they pose a sanitation and comfort issue, but the much bigger issue is that they can eat through the electrical wiring on planes, which could have catastrophic effects if a plane is flying.

Air India is an airline that has historically been known for their problem with rats, which has caused many of their flights to be grounded. In 2016 Air India’s chairman personally carried out an inspection of a plane at Delhi Airport, to further stress the issues rats can cause. The airline wanted to set up a proper staff canteen area so that there wasn’t food on the ramp (that may attract rats), and he was also committed to tightening the maintenance and cleanliness of their food trucks. We’ve heard fewer Air India rat stories lately, so I’m not sure if they’ve actually improved their situation, or if the media just isn’t picking up on it as much.

Well, even in the US we’re not immune to problems involving rats on a plane, as some unlucky Alaska Airlines passengers learned yesterday.

Yesterday morning’s Alaska flight 915 from Oakland to Portland was operated by a Boeing 737-700, and was canceled after a rat jumped inside the aircraft during boarding.

Per KOIN6:

The rat was spotted while the plane was boarding at approximately 8:30 a.m.

The plane is currently out of service and will be back and running once an exterminator declares it rodent-free.

Fortunately Alaska Airlines took the situation seriously, and I’m sure they searched every inch of the plane to make sure there were no other rats. I guess rats can make an appearance anywhere, though it’s pretty remarkable that the rat apparently just boarded through the forward entry door.

Based on the story I’m also not surprised to hear that Alaska started boarding the flight over an hour before departure. Typical Alaska Airlines. šŸ˜‰

  1. They werenā€™t boarding an hour before departure; the rat jumped on when the door was opened to deplane the passengers from PDX. I didnā€™t stick around but I doubt they ever started boarding after the inbound passengers deplaned.

  2. If it was an ANA flight, they wouldn’t have realized the rat shouldn’t be there until about 4 hours into the flight.

  3. American Express appears to be dispatching their staff for flight boarding spot-checks to ensure no abuses are being perpetrated.

  4. WOW!!!! Big difference in the tone of how this is reported when its Alaska as oppossed to when its Air India.

    BTW today LaGuardia is closed due to an ice storm and I am sure many Air Canada pilots will declare fake fuel Maydays to get priority landing slots. I am waiting to see if you will attack the La Guardia ATC like you attacked the Mumbai ATC when Mumbai got closed due to an Hurricane and the Air Canada idiots refused to divert.

    Cmon Ben be an equal opportunity basher.

  5. I have been on five/six air travels from JFK, which were diverted mid-journey due to the presence of rats on board. Interesting how the US media doesn’t pick up on such news. The problem is global and a major known concern for airports and all airlines. We had several incidents, albeit hushed, involving rats when I worked for Delta.

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