Great Rats to Fly With!

Posted on July 6, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development, Humor, Travel
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Adil Najam

Here is a news item published in today’s The News (July 7, 2009, by Khalid Iqbal):

RAWALPINDI: Passengers heaved a sigh of relief when their plane from Birmingham finally landed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport here on Monday, as they had been pestered by a number of rats who traveled with them all the way from Birmingham to Islamabad.

Dozens of big rats were present in the Boeing-777 flight No PK-792 that started its journey from Birmingham and landed here at 6:30 am on Monday. The passengers faced panic and disturbance due to the presence of the rats throughout the journey.

According to schedule, this flight, which had to leave for London at 11:30 am on Monday, could not be cleared of the rodents. The PIA management sent more than 50 mousetraps for catching the rats through its flight PK-368 from Karachi. However, the operation to catch the rats failed and the passengers of flight PK-792 took off at 2:30 pm on Monday instead of 11:30 am. The change, however, was that the passengers left on flight No PK-368 and not the original PK-792.

PIA Deputy Director Muhammad Latif admitted that big rats were present in the flight from Birmingham. He told The News that the engineering staff of the airlines succeeded in trapping the rats after a hard struggle. The big rats might have entered the plane while it was parked at the London Airport cargo centre, he added.

As the plane took off from the London airport, he said, the rats created panic and disturbance among the passengers and the plane staff informed the PIA officials about it.The passengers, who landed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, strongly protested against the incident.

APP: PIA Spokesman Sultan Hassan said on Monday that the Boeing 777 was grounded at the Islamabad Airport when the rats were found inside the plane. Talking to a TV channel, he said that after fumigation, the plane would be made operational.

All I can say is to repeat the famous Fifty-Fifty line: hunn kar lao gall!

P.S. See more on PIA at ATP here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

37 Comments on “Great Rats to Fly With!”

  1. Cyma says:
    July 6th, 2009 11:37 pm

    Oh my Gosh!!! i can actually feel the misery of the passengers .. its so sad that in our country people pay money n get harassed and face problems… the term ” consumer rights” doesn’t even exist in our dictionary …. forget about” compensation “…

  2. ASAD says:
    July 6th, 2009 11:40 pm

    Funniest thing I have read in a long long time!!!!!!

    “The PIA management sent more than 50 mousetraps for catching the rats through its flight PK-368 from Karachi. However, the operation to catch the rats failed!!!!”

    “the engineering staff of the airlines succeeded in trapping the rats after a hard struggle.”

    Sounds like a metaphor for the Swat operation to me!!!

  3. Gardezi says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:05 am

    I agree with Cyma. This may sound funny when we read it. But imagine if you were a passenger on this flight and are caught in that closed space with rats. That is not funny at all.

  4. Schajee says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:09 am

    Sorry about this but I can’t help it…….

    I’ve had it with these mo********ing rats on this mo********ing plane !!!

  5. July 7th, 2009 12:19 am

    Some comments on this at the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “I think a commercial airline should be run along commercial lines. It is being run like an over-staffed government department and here we see the result. Many heads would have fallen in case this was any other airline of the world, but will our bara sahibs even bat an eyelid —”

    - ” i just wonder if passengers are going to speak up and do something abt it….”

    - “Could have been worse; PIA could have used CATS on-board to control the RATS and DOGS on-board to control the CATS!”

  6. Shahid says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:36 am

    It is sad to read that our countrymen/women faced this misery for almost 8 hours trapped inside the plane with the rats moving all over the plane. It is very dangerous of allergy sufferers passengers and safety of plane. But again what matters PIA, now and then nothing will happen….. (Afsos)

  7. Roshan says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:40 am

    I was also laughing after reading this story today and shared it with my wife too. It shows the carelessness of our national flag carrier’s staff.
    On serious side it may be very dangerous as these rates damage the wiring which may cause a serious accident.

  8. Saadat says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:40 am

    Brilliant! Let’s now have a Lollywood movie “Rats on a Plane,” and call it an unofficial sequel of “Snakes on a Plane“. I suggest Shafqat Cheema for the starring role.

  9. adeel says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:48 am

    This does sound funny. I’m only glad I wasn’t one of the passengers. It must not have been funny for them.

  10. Dr. Jameel says:
    July 7th, 2009 1:08 am

    It was probably the Indians who planted the rats in the plane. Or perhaps someone is using these rats as drug mules.

  11. Rajpartaab Kumar says:
    July 7th, 2009 1:11 am

    This is all Pakistani propoganda. Indian would never plant rats in PIA. We could add sacred cow piss to the water but not rats !

    No doubt, its the work of terrorists who are trying testing new infiltration techniques.

  12. Asma Shah says:
    July 7th, 2009 1:14 am

    I think you all are mistaken. These were the parliament members and ministers returning back.

  13. Umar Shah says:
    July 7th, 2009 2:37 am

    Jewish conspiracy! I kid you not bashiriya! The Birmingham rats are probably running free all over “Benazir Bhutto Airport”.

  14. Eidee Man says:
    July 7th, 2009 9:10 am

    British rats desperately trying to immigrate to Pakistan; my how times have changed!

  15. Addie Murphy says:
    July 7th, 2009 9:18 am

    Hmmm if people are bringing chai, parathas or pani puri on board, then it means that hand luggage and security control people are sleeping. For kind information, most of the food stuff is not allowed to carry in hand.

    Another thing, people, yes Pakistanis, just want excuses to let down the the country, country’s brands. I have been traveling a lot with PIA, and I prefer PIA whenever it is possible, but I never had a bad experience in service.

    @topic: If it happened in PIA, i’m sure it was planned and someone has done that intentionally, can be crew members or porters who load stuff. This must be investigated and those who did this, should be fined

  16. July 7th, 2009 11:17 am

    More comments on this from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “pathetic…..”
    - “Thanks God thre were only Rats …..could be something else so don,t worry for rats”
    - “more meat in inflight meals ;p”
    - “I think its potentially dangerous as we know what rats used to be with wires if they cut some wires what might happened in the mid air better not to travel with PIA. If they don’t gave a dam about their peoples life why should people care about the so called FLAG carrier… ”
    - “PIA ( Pathetic International Airlines )…….Better PIA replace their aircraft with KHOTA…”
    - “OMG! Hillarious & dangerous! Hahhahhahhahhahhahha!”
    - “ITS gr8 now we can see uk national rats in pakistan. but thaz a nic trick to send som thing special u ppl know wat i mean after all we r all pakistani heehehehehehehe ;)”
    - “british govenment sending illegal rats to our country why the hell they mourn about illegal immigrants in their country. not fair”
    - “Be Pakistani, Buy Pakistani… Only Pak rats in PIA please”
    - “this is no way to make britain green. sending rats abroad”
    - “Let’s not just question the hygiene level of aircraft maintained by the national carrier… i very much suspect the rats coming out of the luggage of some Birmingham based desi :)”
    - “Rats jumping aboard the sinking ship. Oh the irony…”
    - “PIA or RIA?”
    - “The question is…..how did the rats got onboard? Was it Birmingham or was it karachi?…. ??”
    - “BREAKING NEWS! The RATS found on a UK in-bound PIA flight have been deported back to UK through Emirates Airlines by the FIA as they did not have any valid travel documents. The RATS were arrested by the FIA at the airport and were taken to an unknown location for interrogation by agencies. Some are saying that these RATS were trying to illegally get into Pakistan to join the Baitullah Mehsud of TTP to fight against the Pakistan Army. Further investigations by MI-6 and ISI are expected to reveal the hidden hand behind these RATS. Stay Tuned!”
    - “saad am kho guthlian mat ginu. rats navigation ki wires ko easy li kat saktay hain and its to much dangerous. asa na hota kya air crash investgaion main pia ka araha hota. allah ka sukar hai they landed safely”
    - “BREAKING NEWS! One of the RAT found on PIA has confessed of military training at a Taliban Camp in Afghanistan. The other RATS have also revealed their extensive terror network located in the British Underground. It has also been revealed that on earlier flights about 30 RATS have slipped through bound with explosives. Security around major cities in Pakistan has been tightened and Rehman Malik will soon be giving a statement on how these RATS are a part of destabilisation process and conspiracy against Pakistan. Stay Tuned for the News conference by the RA…..sorry I mean Rehman Malik!!”
    - “With the friend of the President looking after the affairs of PIA what else do you expect????”

  17. ASAD says:
    July 7th, 2009 11:47 am

    Love some of the comments from FB.

    To slightly change one of them, I say: “Be Pakistani, Fly Pakistani

  18. Sarah says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:23 pm

    While the post raises serious questions about safety on board PIA flights (this is not the first time this has happened), the comments that have come in are truly hilarious, original and have me in stitches.

  19. Adeeba says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:28 pm

    oh wow, how awful!

    but seriously, fifty mousetraps? that’s all they could do?

  20. zia m says:
    July 7th, 2009 12:41 pm

    Couple of cats could have brought the situation under control :)
    Guess no fat cats in PIA.

  21. Jamal Rana says:
    July 7th, 2009 1:14 pm

    its the Pakistani version of Snakes on The Plane ..

  22. Rehan says:
    July 7th, 2009 1:24 pm

    Following happened to me on my Lahore-Bangkock leg of Thai Air Flight enroute to Los Angeles.

    After the dinner on this midnight flight, I noticed a morsel of food laying in the middle of isle. Contemplating to pick it up and throw it away, I noticed someone was already there to take care of it. It was a cockroach. Not a Pakistani model. But a smallish oval and much more alert an intelligent looking, as it was trying to move the piece of food to a safer location.

    Aghast, and shocked at seeing a cockroach on board a flight, I raised awareness of the cockroach to a couple of pakistani people around me, so as to have more voices in the protest, I intended to make to the next passing flight attendant.

    “Where is the cockroach?” exclaimed a young man in Lahoree accent, waking up from his nap. Then took off his shoe, and slammed it over the unsuspecting cockroack, whose body, felt safer sticking to the sole of his shoe after the assault.

    The young man, then put his shoe back on, closed his eyes, and was back to sleep.

  23. Alix says:
    July 7th, 2009 5:07 pm

    As much as I find it amusing, is it possible for the rats to gnaw through wiring on the plane?

    Just imagine the headlines: PIA plane crashes. Investigators determine that rats chewed up the cables.

    I am not an aeronautical engineer but I am assuming that the wiring has to meet some standards. Just not sure if those standards took rats into account :)

  24. Adam Insaan says:
    July 7th, 2009 6:43 pm

    hmm….
    -well I used to read about Rattus Norvegicus in microbiology
    (I think that it was spelt like this..)
    but due to this article the name might be more correctly:
    PIA Mater Rattus Samosa`icus sine chattnicum lahorensis birhhammenicum

  25. Adam Insaan says:
    July 7th, 2009 7:06 pm

    ..I do have to add:
    It is quite out of reach for my small grey cells in the Cerebrum, that the national flag carrier has faced this problem . Had this taken place within a Scandinavian or European air-carrier, then it had been taken care of by National Health Institutions!
    Having read the above article related to Rats, it disturbs me to be reflecting about all those meals eaten in Boeing 747 at national as well as international flights , that I and others have been consuming. I am rather concerned by the fact that Rattus /Rats do function as VECTOR

  26. ali says:
    July 8th, 2009 1:14 am

    Now we finally know the origin from where these rats in Pakistan have come from.

  27. Daanish says:
    July 8th, 2009 1:58 am

    PIA should suit London Airport to claim damages as well as poor condition for health and property .

  28. Adnan says:
    July 8th, 2009 5:20 am

    The rats were in the flight from Birmingham to BBA not on the way to Birmingham, and in this case, Birmingham authorities are responsible for this. I will not in anyway blame PIA for this, however, someone is definitely to blame among the crew. and other port members staff.

    A serious thing to be investigated otherwise, not anyone else but our own (SICK) Pakistanis will harm the national airlines image, like they do all the time.

  29. Aamer says:
    July 8th, 2009 8:58 am

    Those that are complaining about our airline just haveto travel with one of the carriers here in the U.S.

    We just like to find problems and complain about everything in life.
    “PIA’s staff is so old, there seats are so congested etc etc” . All of that complaining will be out the window once they travel with a domestic U.S. carrier.

  30. Umar Shah says:
    July 8th, 2009 11:15 am
  31. Dr.Humayun Akhtar says:
    July 8th, 2009 11:35 am

    I just flew on a domestic carrier and found cats and dogs on it–though in cages! So, why should we discriminate against rats. After all, without rats and mice, mankind would not be able to conduct scientific medical experiments to cure future diseases. Perhaps this is the British Empire’s way of compensation by transferring “Rat Technology” to Pakistan in return for the “Great Theft” that colonialists have been doing for the last 300 years. Could it be that the originator of this NEWS article about “Great Rats to Fly With” really meant some passengers who are members of the House of Lords and their co-conspirator counterparts in the Pakistani Government who regularly conspire against the people of Pakistan to eat up their resources on the cheap?
    -Dr.Humayun Akhtar
    hyoska@mindspring.com

  32. Sadiq says:
    July 11th, 2009 11:48 pm

    HAHAHA, I found the comments made by readers more interesting that the post itself.

  33. Tariq Ali says:
    July 12th, 2009 4:47 am

    Forget the Rats!!!

    When on earth was Islamabad International Airport renamed to “Benazir Bhutto International Airport”???

    Astagfarullah, What is Pakistan becoming…Next the country will be called Benazirs old playground!!!

    Nothing agaisnt Pakistan, but this has become a joke. A laughing stock to the whole world. The world moves forward and us Pakistani’s are moving backwards.

  34. Zecchetti says:
    July 12th, 2009 1:28 pm

    Might as well change the name of the country to Benazir’s Republic of Bhuttostan.

    What Nonsense. I will always call it Islamabad International Airport.

  35. mumtaz says:
    July 14th, 2009 5:17 am

    if these rats did get on the flight from Birmingham , their airport organization is to be blamed not the PIA

  36. Kausar Talat says:
    July 20th, 2009 12:42 pm

    Many airlines experience such nuisance indifferent part of the world. Kuala Lampur international airport is built on a plantation infested with rats. Occasionally airplanes turnaround after takeoff from KL. In case of Qantas, there were snakes in cargo hold.

    Let s=us be easy on PIA. Of course there is room for improvement but the incidence expose Brimingham airport. If it would have been Karachi with a foreign airline – imagine the media coverage at that time.

  37. MUNIR says:
    May 25th, 2010 9:46 am

    Presence of rats in hospitals, hotels, airports, grocery shops ets. is really a sensitive issue. Rats not only damage the property but also cause diseases by contaminating the food materials with their dopping, hair and urine. Growing population of wild pigs is another important issue which should be addressed seriously. Is there any government agency dealing with these issues?

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