A passenger’s uncaged cat wandering around the cabin of a Turkish Airlines flight caused the flight to turn around and return to the airport gate.
Flight TK 1843 was en route to Athens International Airport (ATH) from Istanbul Airport (IST) and had just commenced taxiing for takeoff when passengers noticed the cat wandering in the cabin.
The cabin crew was notified and the flight’s pilot immediately secured permission from airport traffic control to return to the gate.
After some investigating, the airline discovered that the cat’s owner, who was booked on the flight, had brought the cat onto the aircraft without a reservation or a suitable carrier.
The owner placed the cat inside a carry-on bag, where it had gone undetected as he boarded.
Ultimately both the cat and its owner were removed from the aircraft, and the flight resumed its course to Athens.
According to local Turkish media outlet The Daily Sabah, the airline has made a decision to blacklist the cat’s owner, who allegedly pulled the same trick on a previous occasion.
Turkish Airlines allows cats, dog, and small birds inside the cabin, as long as the animal in question is contained within a crate with dimension that should not exceed 23 cm height, 30 cm width and 40 cm length, and a weight that does not exceed eight kilograms.
According to the airline’s website, passengers traveling with pets in the aircraft cabin must keep the animals in a carrier or cage under the seat in front of them.