A real case of snakes on a plane occurred recently when passengers onboard an AirAsia flight Kuala Lumpur to Tawau spotted the reptile slithering along a translucent light panel above their heads.
As soon as the Captain became aware of the stowaway roughly halfway through the two and a half flight a decision was made to immediately divert the flight to the nearest airport.
AirAsia described the incident as ‘rare’ but something that could happen to any airline. The Airbus A320 has remained on the ground ever since the snake was spotted on Thursday.
Along with retrieving the snake, engineers will also have to determine whether any other reptiles managed to slither on and if any damage was caused – especially to electrical equipment.
“The captain took the appropriate action, and the flight will depart for Tawau as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for AirAsia said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our guests and crew are always our top priority. At no time was the safety of guests or crew at any risk.”
In August 2019, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) found a 15-inch ring-necked snake slithering around in a tray at a security checkpoint at Newark airport. The snake was stopped before managing to get onboard the flight.
But in 2017, a flight attendant on a Ravn Alaska flight from Aniak to Anchorage had to grab hold of a snake that was slithering around the cabin. She calmly stuffed the snake into a carrier bag and the flight continued on its way without any drama.
Apparently, a passenger had brought the snake on a plane without anyone knowing but it then managed to escape its owner.
Several years earlier in 2013, a 10ft python was videoed clinging onto the side of a Qantas plane flying between Cairns and Port Moresby. Experts believe the snake had hidden in the landing gear of the aircraft and wasn’t spotted before departure.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.