Mice Found On United Airlines Flight

United Airlines Flight UA897 from Washington to Beijing landed in China with a mice infestation onboard, reported a Chinese state official on Monday: “Eight mice, dead and (alive), were found at last … hidden in pillows.” An “emergency team” boarded the craft and “put rat poison and mouse traps at every possible corner on the aircraft, including the cockpit… the surviving mice were sent to labs for testing.”

Luckily for all of us, United Airlines responded with the following (emphasis ours):

“We are taking this matter seriously and have begun a full investigation with the authorities to determine how this happened and ensure it is resolved.”

One question no one has bothered to ask yet: were these poisonous mice? If so, then someone may have been trying to kill a witness.

“China scurries to contain mice on U.S. flight” [Reuters]
“Live mice found on U.S. flight to China” [Xinhua]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. MBZ321 says:


  2. chili_dog says:

    Mice on a plane is super serious issue. When I was an airline hack, if rodents were found to be on board, the flight was canceled, the plane removed from service for immediate C-Check and fumigation.

    I remember during training (in the 80’s) that every year, 20 planes crashed due to rodents chewing thru control cables.

  3. esqdork says:

    Fly the bubonic skies!

  4. forgottenpassword says:



    First thing I thought of. lol. WOw! Thate actually NEED snakes on a plane to handle the mice… lol.

    Ugh…. My skin just crawled reading “mice in the pillows”.

  5. Skiffer says:

    @chili_dog: GEEK WARNING:
    I did hear a couple years back about a company that successfully plasticized the “hot” oils from peppers into cable sheaths, which turned out to be a great deterrent to prevent rodents from chewing cables.

    Back to the article:
    I’ll rest easy knowing that UA is taking the matter seriously…just like in every other press release out there…

  6. Skiffer says:

    Wait a minute…

    “rat poison and mouse traps at every possible corner on the aircraft”

    “the surviving mice were sent to labs for testing.”

    I guess the Chinese rat poison didn’t work? Surprise, Surprise…I guess they put all the real poison into the pet food they shipped to us…

    (ok, ok…I guess they could’ve used live traps…but that isn’t as funny…)

  7. Myotheralt says:

    The reamining mice were found to have been poisoned. UA is looking into this and they are taking it very seriously.

  8. OPNLguy says:

    >>>I remember during training (in the 80’s) that every year, 20 planes crashed due to rodents chewing thru control cables.

    You do realize that control cables are made out of steel, right? The mice are going to chew through -that- ?

    They don’t do C-checks just because a rodent(s) were found onboard either. Inspections (for damaged electrical cables), yes.

  9. timmus says:

    Trying to think of a joke about this incident based on Mouse Se Tung… so far I’m just stuck in the “stupid pun” zone.

  10. nycs says:

    Mice on the Plane was a huge story a couple of summers ago when this video report surfaced: [www.ksdk.com]

    I know someone who was on an LAX-JFK flight and a mouse ran across his feet. Yikes!

  11. chili_dog says:

    @OPNLguy: Just repeating what I was told by “officials”. At this point, who knows if true, who knows if the crashes were 747-200s or C152s.

    And yes, I know they are made of steel. And yes I know that the standard procedure is to fumigate, but I have PERSONALLY been involved with a plane that did have a mouse problem and DID go in for C-Check because of it. I was just a lowly dispatcher at the time and didn;t have access to aircraft rotation schedules, but true no less.

  12. Crim Law Geek says:

    I actually flew on this flight about 2 weeks ago. I didn’t see any mice or anything, and obviously the plane didn’t crash. I guess mice chewing through cables explains why the A/V system was on the fritz (busted sound, flickering image, etc). For what it’s worth, the plane was a 747-400.

  13. darkclawsofchaos says:

    They are banned because mice usually contain more than 3 ounces of liquid :D

  14. tk427 says:


    Checked the link (eeeeeeew!). I can only bring 3oz of germ gel with me? That’s going to keep me safe?

  15. mga says:

    As several people have noted, mice chewing through cables could be a major problem. I was surprised that they used rat poison here. The poison doesn’t take effect immediately, so the mice could eat the poison, then head back to their hiding place to die. Then a few weeks later people may notice a bad smell as the rat slowly decomposes (and maybe other things start feeding off the decomposing body).

    Hopefully no one is eating breakfastlunchdinner as they are reading this.

  16. AlphaTeam says:

    @MBZ321:Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    @darkclawsofchaos: You think zip-lock bags would work in this case?

    I haven’t had mice on a plane or snakes for that matter, but I’ve sure been a long-haul light that had cabin lights that didn’t turn off, failing ovens and water heaters (The ones they use to heat your food and make your tea). Let’s not forget the fuzzy movie screen. Makes you wonder if rodents are chewing through the cables.

  17. eightfifteen says:

    Wow, sounds like a plot for a new Samuel L. Jackson movie!

  18. ninjatales says:

    @Skiffer: All they need to do is coat the cables with lead paint. Cheaper and easier. Plus keeps our Chinese overlords in business. Apparently, they’re not impressed with the pepper-laden cables.

  19. dazzlezak says:

    Maybe they are friends of Stuart Little, returning lead toys.

    Also, Not the control cables, but the plastic covered electronic cable that conrtol almost everything.

    Boeing’s (except for 787) have some direct steel cable control wires.

    Airbus’s are fly by wire.

  20. pauliee says:

    Oh shit, I took that flight last week. Glad nothing happened…

  21. mattbrown says:

    you send us lead, we send you mice… ey?

  22. savvy999 says:

    the surviving mice were sent to labs for testing.”

    Testing for what… to see if they could fly the plane?

    Perhaps it was more of an interrogation. These jihadi mice were going to planning down a plane; they’ve done it before. In such perilous times, drastic measures were required. The rodents were waterboarded on itty bitty little tables with teensy tiny blindfolds and and eye dropper. The information was valuable, the videotapes were burned, lives saved.

  23. NoWin says:

    Yum. Take-on snack that just got away.

  24. Froggmann says:

    Geee… Great… I’m flying on a United flight tomorrow. I knew I should have stuck to my guns and told them I would just drive the 400 miles.

  25. snoop-blog says:

    the mice were taliban trained mice. very dangerous extremist mice that hate infidels, have been known to be operating in kfc/taco bells across the country. damn i those were rats……oh well they all look the same.

  26. Instigator says:

    I want to know how the mice got past TSA!

  27. themediatrix says:

    As everyone knows, mice are allowed to travel TO Beijing on airplanes, but they are not allowed to travel FROM Beijing on airplanes. Especially if they are named Rexroth. Or something like that.

  28. ekthesy says:

    One (1) feline should be standard equipment on all transocean flights.

  29. Gunadz says:


    Oi, don’t be an idiot. You know perfectly well what they meant. All of the China recall stuff is getting old.

    Besides, despite what you may think, foreign rodents can cause huge problems. Rabbits in Australia anybody?

  30. lostalaska says:

    Hmm mice on a plane from Washington to China…

    I’ve heard of rats abandoning a sinking ship, but has it gotten so bad in America that mice are trying to escape to China?