Eek: Snake Discovered On United Airlines Flight

Eek: Snake Discovered On United Airlines Flight

16

Well, I’m happy I wasn’t onboard this flight…

Passengers discover snake on Newark-bound United flight

This incident occurred on Monday, October 17, 2022, on United Airlines flight UA2038 from Tampa (TPA) to Newark (EWR).

According to reports, this incident unfolded at around 1:15PM, shortly after the roughly two hour flight landed, when the Boeing 737-800 was taxiing to its gate. Passengers in first class allegedly shrieked and pulled their legs up when a snake suddenly made an appearance in the cabin, on the floor.

The crew informed ground staff of the situation, and upon arriving at the gate, Port Authority police officers boarded the plane to remove the unwelcome passenger. Fortunately this was “just” a garter snake, and wasn’t venomous. The snake was later released into the wild.

Passengers had to stay onboard during this incident, and after passengers deplaned, the aircraft was reportedly searched to make sure there were no other creatures onboard. The plane operated a flight to Fort Myers (RSW) next, and that only suffered a minor delay.

It’s anyone’s guess how the snake got on the plane. It’s possible the snake snuck on the plane while the aircraft door was open in Tampa, or it’s possible that a passenger (hopefully accidentally) brought it onboard in their luggage. It’s also a mystery how the snake was only noticed upon landing, and for that matter where it had been the entire flight. Also, given the age we live in, I’m kind of surprised there’s no video footage of this incident.

As someone who is (irrationally) terrified of snakes, this sounds like my personal nightmare. Snakes terrify me even in the wild, let alone in a confined space where you can’t escape. Thank goodness this was only discovered on landing, and not inflight, where it would have been a trickier situation to deal with.

I don’t know how I’ve survived in Florida all these years. 😉

This isn’t the first “snakes on a plane” incident

Of course when an incident like this occurs, Samuel L. Jackson’s 2006 “Snakes on a Plane” movie probably comes to mind. The reality is that it’s pretty rare for snakes to be discovered on planes, though it does happen.

For example, in February 2022, a snake was discovered in the lighting panel on an AirAsia Airbus A320 flying from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Tawau (TWU). The plane ended up diverting to offload the non-ticketed creature. I’m not sure if this was scarier because the snake was overhead, or less scary because it was behind a panel.

Meanwhile in November 2016, a snake was discovered in the overhead console on an Aeromexico Embraer 190 flying from Torreón (TRC) to Mexico City (MEX). The plane continued its flight, was captured by passengers, and was removed upon landing.

Am I the only one suddenly itching everywhere?

Bottom line

On Monday, a snake made an appearance on a United Airlines flight from Florida to New Jersey. Fortunately this was only discovered on landing, so no diversion was made, but rather authorities just removed the snake when it arrived at the gate.

Not only is it quite rare for a snake to be discovered on a plane, but I don’t remember the last time that this happened in the United States. This is definitely one of those things that I’d rather not think about. But now that I’ve seen this story…

What do you make of this “snakes on a plane” incident?

Conversations (16)
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  1. Mark Guest

    "The plane continued its flight, was captured by passengers, and was removed upon landing."

    How precisely did they capture the plane? ;)

  2. Stewart Edwards Guest

    Ben

    Here is how I progressed my, once severe phobia of snakes.

    I learnt about them. I then got closer to them, so close through glass that I could see a pythons nostrils. I never realised that they had nostrils. I talked to it, that actually helped a lot (think like an owner talking to a cat or dog).

    Eventually with numerous small steps over many years, I was able to handle a snake with...

    Ben

    Here is how I progressed my, once severe phobia of snakes.

    I learnt about them. I then got closer to them, so close through glass that I could see a pythons nostrils. I never realised that they had nostrils. I talked to it, that actually helped a lot (think like an owner talking to a cat or dog).

    Eventually with numerous small steps over many years, I was able to handle a snake with my daughter without any issue whatsoever.

    Not sure that I would like to accidentally stand on one in a Jungle though!

    You can surmount your phobia Ben, if you chose too. Just be realistic about timescales. Try to work up a snake handling session at a zoo. And don’t get embarrassed by the young kids getting stuck in.

    It is easier once you realise that a snake is just an animal, living its life, like any other animal.

    Hope that helps Ben.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      IKR, you’ve got to really lean into it, and add an !.

      Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!

  3. Munziotto Guest

    It's so scary for people as myself that I am terrifying If I see any snake anywhere ! I probably die from a heart attack ? The airlines should clean the ✈ plane thoroughly and check each space under the seat ! I can't imagine myself seeing one snake under my seat !

  4. Mary Guest

    This isn't the same plane is it that turned around and blew two tires landing in Ft Myers?

  5. John Guest

    The snake was actually @Eskimoo's packed lunch. Don't ask what her dinner was..

  6. Sam Jackson Guest

    That snake wouldn't DARE get on a MF'n plane with me!

  7. MildMidwesterner Gold

    I once sat next to a guy named Snake. And, yes, it was on Spirit.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      The 3 Snakes I know, either Escape from NY then LA, or Escape from Springfield Penitentiary. The last one was a special force code name Solid.

    2. Gravelly Point Guy Guest

      Snake Plisken please!

  8. Stanley C Diamond

    In this case, snake bites are venomous because it refers to the bite or the sting so this term would be applied to as venom. As such, it can also apply to jellyfish, spiders, and bees, etc. Yet, Ben’s use of poisonous can be considered correct in this situation because poison would refer to being from ingestion, skin to skin contact or inhalation. Garter snakes are considered poisonous because it absorbs the poison from it...

    In this case, snake bites are venomous because it refers to the bite or the sting so this term would be applied to as venom. As such, it can also apply to jellyfish, spiders, and bees, etc. Yet, Ben’s use of poisonous can be considered correct in this situation because poison would refer to being from ingestion, skin to skin contact or inhalation. Garter snakes are considered poisonous because it absorbs the poison from it eating poisonous newts and salamanders. In addition, they are known to be mildly venomous.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I actually learned something new today from OMAAT!

      So is Mike Tyson venomous or poisonous?

  9. carlos Guest

    Venomous, not poisonous.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      In this case, actually, YOU would be incorrect.

      Yes, generally snakes are venomous, not poisonous..... but Garter snakes are one of the few species that ARE actually poisonous. The toads and frogs that they commonly eat allow them to store poison within their tissues, that can be lethal to small animals (e.g. shrews, birds) that would try to eat the snake, and would make larger animals (dogs, cats, badgers, etc) seriously ill.

      So this is...

      In this case, actually, YOU would be incorrect.

      Yes, generally snakes are venomous, not poisonous..... but Garter snakes are one of the few species that ARE actually poisonous. The toads and frogs that they commonly eat allow them to store poison within their tissues, that can be lethal to small animals (e.g. shrews, birds) that would try to eat the snake, and would make larger animals (dogs, cats, badgers, etc) seriously ill.

      So this is one of the few cases where "poisonous" would be accurate.

    2. John Guest

      Whooooa! @ConcordBaby is a qualified herpetologist now? LOL I thought she was a proctologist, for some reason.

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Sam Jackson Guest

That snake wouldn't DARE get on a MF'n plane with me!

2
Stanley C Diamond

In this case, snake bites are venomous because it refers to the bite or the sting so this term would be applied to as venom. As such, it can also apply to jellyfish, spiders, and bees, etc. Yet, Ben’s use of poisonous can be considered correct in this situation because poison would refer to being from ingestion, skin to skin contact or inhalation. Garter snakes are considered poisonous because it absorbs the poison from it eating poisonous newts and salamanders. In addition, they are known to be mildly venomous.

1
Mark Guest

"The plane continued its flight, was captured by passengers, and was removed upon landing." How precisely did they capture the plane? ;)

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