In Kuching, the plane was fumigated and the passengers were allowed to board and continued with their flight.
If you’ve seen the 2006 cult classic Snakes On A Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson, the you’ll know that snakes don’t belong on airplanes, let alone venomous snakes that are snuck aboard in Hawaii of all locales. But passengers on a February 10 AirAsia flight from Malaysia to Tawau got the shock of their lives when a snake was spotted within the confines of the plane’s overhead light system, seemingly secure from the passengers on the plane who would probably try to kill it.
When the snake was first discovered, several passengers alerted the cabin crew, who told the pilot. The pilot then re-routed the plane to Kuching, which is about 550 short of the plane’s destination of Tawau. In Kuching, the plane was fumigated and the passengers were allowed to board and continued with their flight.
@edal8808 Kelihatan seekor ular dalam pesawat dlm penerbangan dari KL ke Tawau. Pesawat terpaksa emergency landing di AirPort Kuching #fyp ♬ Suspense Music – Sound Collective
“This is a very rare incident which can occur on any aircraft from time to time,” AirAsia’s chief safety officer Captain Liong Tien Ling told CNN. “The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is always our top priority. At no time was the safety of guests or crew at any risk.”
The snake was presumably removed before fumigation took place. The species of snake was not identified, but if you look at the TikTok video, it does appear to be green, but that could be the lighting.
Snakes on a plane are rare, but not uncommon. In 2013, passengers on a Quantas flight from Cairns, Australia to Papua New Guinea spotted what turned out to be a scrub python (Morelia amethistina) trying to survive on the outside wing of the plane. The snake survived for several hours under the wing of the plane in minus 12 degree temperatures and 400km an hour winds before succumbing.
A southern black racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) stowed away on a plane to Hawaii in 2019, inside a passenger’s backpack. The snake made it to the vacation rental on Maui where the man stayed and the owner of the vacation rental informed the tourist that snakes are illegal to keep in Hawaii and the police were then called. That snake was retrieved by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Native Ecosystem Protection Management – Maui Nui program.
And in 2012, a Jordanian reptile shop owner apparently tried to smuggle an Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) onto and EgyptAir flight, but was bitten by the snake when it escaped the man’s carry on luggage. that flight, bound for Kuwait, was forced to land at Egypt’s Al Ghardaqa’s Hurgada airport.