More than 300 passengers were delayed after the pilot refused to fly in a situation reminiscent of the film Snakes on a Plane.
In the film, a cargo of poisonous snakes breaks loose mid-flight and causes havoc by attacking passengers and crew as well as ripping out electrical cables, causing short circuits on the aircraft.
Mice may not pose the same threat as mambas, but the possibility the rodent could have gnawed through wires was enough for the pilot to call in a replacement aircraft.
Andy Picken, 47, who had been to the US with his wife Jenny to celebrate her 40th birthday, told the Sun he had to wait three hours for a substitute plane to arrive at midnight.
“We thought it was a joke, but the captain said we all had to get off.
“It is amazing that something as small as a mouse disrupted a transatlantic jet.”
Delta Airways reportedly described the stoppage as “standard procedure”.