Snake on a plane surprises passengers on the flight from Tampa to Newark

(NEXSTAR) – Like a scene from a movie, a snake was found slithering aboard a plane earlier this week.

Passengers on a United Airlines flight from Tampa were startled by the slithering reptile while taxiing on the runway at Newark International Airport Monday afternoon, a passenger told News 12 New Jersey.

“After being alerted by passengers, our crew called the appropriate authorities to address the situation,” a United Airlines spokesperson told Nexstar.

Officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were called to remove the snake, which was later determined to be a garter snake.

United did not respond to Nexstar’s request for additional information, including how the snake may have gotten into the cabin.

A statement from the Port Authority was not immediately available Tuesday night.

United has “no weight or breed restrictions” for pets flying aboard its planes, but notes that only cats and dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin when space is available.

This is not the first time a real snake has found its way onto a plane.

In 2019, a Scottish woman found a python in her shoe after a 9,000-mile flight from Australia. Three years earlier, passengers on board a flight to Mexico City were shocked to find a snake dangling from an overhead bin.

A pet snake was left at a TSA checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport in 2019. The TSA later called it one of the most unusual items found at a checkpoint that year.

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