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Sometimes, when art becomes real life, you wonder what else put on the silver screen might come true? The Samuel L Jackson movie Snakes On A Plane came out in 2006. This weekend, a real snake was loose on a passenger jet, which had to make an unscheduled landing to remove it. Next time you board an airplane, check under your seat.

Watch the snake on the plane slither…

This flight originated in Malaysian in Kuala Lumpur, headed to Tawau, also in Malaysia. Upon being informed of the snake, the AirAsia Airline plane was diverted to an airport in the southern part of the country. There, the passengers disembarked, and the plane was then “decontaminated.”

The snake had been slithering around inside of a light cavity, clearly visible as seen on this TikTok video. Do you wonder if there were others? The information of the snake and emergency landing was confirmed by an AirAsia security officer to CNN. 

No one was “at risk”

Real snake on a plane
Real snake on a plane | YouTube

“As soon as the captain was notified, the plane was diverted to Kuching to be disinfected,” AirAsia’s Liong Tien Ling said. AirAsia, in its best airplane speak, said that the captain took appropriate action. This kept the passengers and crew members safe. Ling says no one on the plane was injured or “at any risk.” 

Can you take a snake on a plane?

Snakes On A Plane
Snakes On A Plane-1956 | Getty

So let’s say your therapy animal is a snake? Can you take a snake onto a plane? Unfortunately no. Dogs and cats can be taken on board as carry-on luggage for a fee. But they have to be in pet containers. 

Snakes aren’t allowed in the cabin. They can be sent to your destination in the luggage compartment, or in a cargo plane. They’ll be stored in a pressurized, temperature-controlled section of the plane. But even then, you have to go through a series of packing instructions before anyone can send a snake on a plane. 

With the right packing, you can even send cannibalistic snakes like the mussurana, or black-headed python. That goes for venomous snakes as well. And there are even airlines that specialize in transporting animals.

Who ships snakes?

Snakes On A Plane movie
Snakes On A Plane movie-Samuel L Jackson | Getty

Global Animal Transport will ship just about anything living. But the costs can be prohibitive. You can also ship them by FedEx-no mammals or venomous snakes, please. And no shipping outside of the US. 

All live shipments must go Priority Overnight, and there are other restrictions and specific instructions to ship them. You also can’t drop it off at a FedEx store. Live animals must be taken to a FedEx hub. UPS and the Postal Service will not ship snakes, no matter how nice you ask.

All of the above precautions and restrictions reduce the number of incidents like the one detailed here. When a snake does end up on a plane, it makes the news because of the rarity of the occurrence. Thank goodness for that.  


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