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Flyers 'shriek' in fear as snake slithers in business class of United Airlines flight

Upon the landing of the flight at Newark airport, screams of flyers from the business class were heard as the aircraft taxied to the gate
(Representational image/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Representational image/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: 2006’s blockbuster ‘Snakes on a plane’ got real for business-class passengers aboard a United Airlines flight after an expected horrifying appearance of a live snake on the jet caused panic and turbulence among the commuters.

A slithering reptile identified as a harmless garter snake or garden snake was spotted on United Airlines Flight 2038 from Tampa shortly after landing at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) on Monday, October 17, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. One witness described how the cabin crew rushed to the business class section of the flight after passengers immediately alerted the staff to catch the snake.


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Upon the landing of the flight at Newark airport at around 1:15 pm (local time), screams of the passengers from the business class were heard as the aircraft taxied from the runway to the gate. A report by the Washington Post citing local media of New Jersey, News 12 New Jersey, claimed that frightened passengers raised their feet to escape and began shrieking in fear.

After the brief chaos, airport animal-control officers and Port Authority police officers removed the snake from the flight and then permitted passengers to deplane as usual. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesperson Cheryl Ann Albiez said the snake was later released into the wild. There were no injuries, no impact on airport operations, and the plane later departed Newark, she confirmed.

Talking about the incident, a spokesperson for United Airlines said only that crew members who were alerted by passengers “called the appropriate authorities to take care of the situation”. However, it is still unclear how the reptile aboard the American commercial flight.

However, the incident left the social media user amused. Joking about the incident a user wrote, “See! Some people say “makes for a great movie!” In this case, not only did it make a movie, it actually really happened!” While another said, "it's a slightly different plot than last time."

"That’s why there is an emergency door. I’d be outta there,” wrote the third one.


However, this is not the first time when a snake has been spotted on an aircraft. Earlier, this year, a plane was forced to make an emergency landing after a snake slithered above passengers' heads through the cabin's overhead lights. The viral social media video from the flight showed that the reptile was inside a light fixture above passengers. Meanwhile, in 2016, a large snake -- believed to be a venomous green viper -- emerged from an overhead compartment on an Aeromexico flight in Mexico, according to The Washington Post.