Well, I’m happy I wasn’t onboard this flight…
In this post:
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?
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?