Most modern travelers would agree that having snakes on an airplane is probably one of the worst nightmares of an airline passenger; hence the success of David Ellis’s cult classic movie “Snakes on a Plane”. While this incident was not equal to the aforementioned movie’s nightmarish situations, there was indeed a snake on a Qantas Boeing 747 flight bound for Japan – albeit a small one – as revealed by the airline on Monday. This caused the flight to be grounded and all 370 passengers had to stay at a hotel in Sydney, Australia for a night.
Qantas’ airline staff found a 20-centimeter (8-inch) snake in the passenger cabin near the door before passengers were due to board late on Sunday at Sydney International Airport for a flight to Tokyo, the airline management revealed in a statement. Qantas, Australia’s flagship airline, said that all the passengers were accommodated in hotels overnight and were able to depart from Sydney on a replacement plane Monday morning. The airline company also said that the plane would be fumigated before resuming normal passenger flights, just in case the snake was venomous and if on the unlikely case that there were other on board. “The snake was around eight inches long,” a Qantas spokeswoman said. “That’s about the size of a ball-point pen.” As to exactly what kind of snake it was is still unclear at the moment and the Australian Agriculture Department said that the snake was with entomologists on Monday for identification.
This was not the first time a Qantas flight had an unwanted reptilian passenger. In January this year, a slightly bigger and scarier 9 foot python was spotted clinging to the wing of a Qantas aircraft an hour into a flight between Australia and Papua New Guinea. The non-poisonous Amethystine python was seen on the left wing near the engine of the Bombardier Q400 plane around an hour into the Qantas flight between Cairns in northern Queensland and the Papua New Guinean capital of Port Moresby. According to a flight attendant on the plane, one of the first reactions they heard from the passengers when the announcement about the python was made was, “You have got to be kidding.”