There are a number of things you don’t want to be seated next to when you board a long-haul flight. Babies, terrorists and people who take off their shoes five minutes into the flight are all equally bad to be trapped with on a thin, flying tube for half a day.
But, in 2021, given the bad rap they've been getting thanks to speculation about the origins of COVID-19, perhaps the worst thing to have in the seat next to you is a bat. Unfortunately for the passengers on an Air India flight from New Delhi to New York City, that’s exactly what happened.
About half an hour into their 15+ hour flight, passengers noticed something flying around the cabin. Aircraft personnel believe the bat might have snuck onto the plane when the food was being loaded pre-flight, which can sometimes attract animals. Either that or it managed to sneak on the plane wearing a trench coat, a hat and glasses, which is a much funnier alternative and the theory that this journalist is pursuing.
As a result of the unexpected stowaway, the flight had to be diverted back to New Delhi where it touched down just before 4am and was fumigated. Don’t worry, the passengers were asked to leave the plane before that process began.
The fumigation process did achieve the desired result; the bat was found dead. This might sound like a sad ending for the bat, but a truly lovely detail about this story is that the bat’s carcass was found in business class, which means that it decided to go out on a high; smashing canapes, drinking champagne and almost certainly dressed in those comfy pajamas they give out to rich people.
Good on you, bat. You truly lived your best life.
Main image: Supplied.