As someone who hates snakes, a situation like this is absolutely terrifying to me…
AirAsia flight diverts due to snake in cabin
This incident involves AirAsia flight AK5748 from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Tawau (TWU), on Thursday, February 10, 2022. The flight was operated by a roughly two year old Airbus A320 with the registration code 9M-RAN.
At some point during the roughly 2.5 hour flight, passengers and crew noticed a snake in one of the overhead panels, causing panic in the cabin. Some videos were taken, and at least one is going viral on social media.
Once it was clear what was going on, the captain made the decision to divert the plane. Since the plane was over the South China Sea, the plane diverted to the nearest major airport, which was Kuching (KCH), which is somewhere around the halfway point of the journey.
Interestingly even the next day, the plane is still on the ground in Kuching, and hasn’t yet flown. So I’m not sure if it somehow became challenging to get the snake off the plane (given that it was in a panel, and maybe there was a game of hide and seek), or if there’s some sort of other process that the airline has to go through.
An AirAsia spokesperson had the following to say regarding the incident:
“As soon as the captain was aware, he made the decision to divert the aircraft to Kuching as a precautionary measure to fumigate the aircraft. This is a very rare incident which can occur on any aircraft from time to time. The captain took the appropriate action, and the flight will depart for Tawau as soon as possible. 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.”
This is rare, but not unheard of
With the exception of movies starring Samuel L. Jackson, snakes on planes are fairly rare. Or at least at a minimum, passengers realizing that there are snakes on planes doesn’t happen very often. 😉
As you’d expect, though, planes operate to all kinds of environments, and cabin doors sometimes remain open, and there are other openings through which creatures can crawl.
In 2016, a snake was found on an Aeromexico Embraer E190 flying from Torreón to Mexico City. That situation was arguably even much scarier, since the snake wasn’t even behind a panel.
Those aren’t the only creatures we’ve seen make surprise visits on planes either. In 2021, a Newark-bound Air India flight had to divert after bats were spotted in the cabin.
A domestic AirAsia flight in Malaysia had to divert after a snake was found in an overhead panel. As someone who is ridiculously terrified of snakes, being stuck in a confined space with a snake is my personal nightmare. I’m itching everywhere just looking at this video.
On the plus side, at least the snake was behind a panel, which is slightly less scary than the Aeromexico incident several years back.
How scared would you be if there were a snake on your flight?
This would be one of my worst nightmares…
"I've had it with these mother flippin' snakes on this mother flippin' plane!!!!"
...made the mistake of watching that second video while sitting in a restaurant...and jumped out of my seat when the snake fell in that 2nd video...I think I alarmed the people around me!!
If that was my reaction to the video, I can't imagine how I would deal with it in person!!
Where's Robert Irwin when you need him?
Forget Irwin. I need Samuel L. Jackson!
That's a baby snake ;).
Living in Southeast Asia, I've developed more confidence around anything less than 10 feet long. The spiders and monitor lizards...well, that's a different story...
Well with loads of planes being in storage during the pandemic I am not surprised nature is taking shelter.
This is truer than you think. There was an article last summer about grounded Qantas A380's being stored in the desert in the U.S. (not sure why not in Australia). As part of the routine upkeep of them the technicians there had to weekly go around with "snake sticks" and beat them out of the wheel wells etc. Apparently they mass inside any available access without regular extraction. Can you imagine that as your job?
Qantas has its A380 maintenance hangar and engineers at LAX. (It's a very large hangar at the western end of the airport.) So while other Qantas aircraft were stored in Australia, the A380s fleet was sent to Victorville to be close to engineers. As each aircraft is prepared for a return to service, it goes VCV-LAX to the hangar to be prepped and tested.
Well, in 2015, on a Qantas flight from Cairns to Brisbane, we spotted a Huntsman Spider under the overhead bins. As the cabin crew tried to catch it, it felt onto the seats beneath and disapeared (darn, they‘re fast…). The seat was occupied by a QF-Captain on reserve and all he said, was „only dangerous, when they are bigger…“. For us Europeans it was already way to big. My spouse‘s feet never touched the ground until we landed in Brisbane :-)
Those Huntsman spiders are EVERYWHERE in Australia. I had one even in the visor of my rental car. I nearly died swerving off the road as it fell onto my lap. I have no idea how Australians live with these monsters. And how casual they are about them. Sure, they are supposed to be harmless...but they are HUGE and really nasty looking. No thanks.
At that point, I think I'd be trying to open the exit door and get out! I'm pretty brave about most things, but spiders are my weak spot. Gross, dangerous, crafty, nasty. And having a big, hairy thing like that loose on my plane would drive me nuts.
I’ve had it with these… eh, never mind
Monkey fighting snakes on this Monday through Friday plane? Best TV edit known to man btw!