The US government created a law in 1986 that allowed people to board flights with emotional support animals without being charged for the animals. The consequences of that act have been a wide range of animals including ducks and cockerels finding their way onto aeroplane isles. Emotional support animals are not the only cause for concern on commercial flights though, some flights have had to deal with unwelcome animals that found their way onto the cabin the most common being snakes. Now, what do you do when a snake comes slithering onto your seat? Well, read about these 10 to find out.
The Cobra on EgyptAir Flight
This happened back in 2012 on a flight from Cairo to Egypt when a 48 year old man smuggling a pet Egyptian cobra lost control of the animal. The man who owned a pet shop in Kuwait was trying to smuggle the cobra through his hand luggage but it slithered out of his bag. The cobra then bit the man before slithering under the seats sending the whole flight into a frenzy. The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in the Egyptian town of Al Ghardaqa where local officials came in to confiscate the deadly serpent before it bit anyone else.
Another Snake on a Ravn Alaska Flight
Ravn Alaska is a local airline in the state of Alaska that offers flights to commuters between cities in the vast state. In March 2017, a passenger brought on a snake as his emotional support animal during a flight from Anchorage to the village of Aniak. The man alighted from the plane but forgot his emotional support snake behind which is rather strange. On the return flight to Anchorage, the loose serpent became a menace and was found lying near a young boy. Luckily, the pet didn’t bite anyone and a brave flight attendant managed to secure it for the rest of the flight.
The Mannerless Emotional Support Pig On US Airways
US airlines have had to make new rules regarding the size of animals that can actually be allowed on flights after passengers took advantage of the federal law. Passengers on a Thanksgiving Day flight from Connecticut to Washington witnessed a spectacle when a woman brough an 80-pound pig on board as an emotional support animal. Unlike other animals which are usually secured in a crate, this one wasn’t. The pig was stinky and as everyone watched trying to comprehend why the cabin was smelly all of a sudden, the big pig started defecating in the isle. It became worse when the pig started squealing sending the entire cabin into chaos. The crew were forced to kick the woman and her pig off the flight.
The Snake on Aeromexico
This happened back in 2016 on a flight from the Mexican city of Torreon to Mexico City. The bright green snake was recorded by a passenger as it slithered on the cabin ceiling before dropping onto one of the seats on the plane. The airline had to be given priority landing at the Mexico City airport to allow passengers to disembark before animal handlers came to secure the snake. Luckily, no one was bitten in this incident. It is not clear how the snake ended up on the plane though.
Stray Cat VS Tarco Aviation Pilots
In March of 2021, a Tarco Aviation flight from Khartoum, Sudan to Doha, Qatar was diverted back to Khartoum for an emergency landing after the cockpit crew were attacked by a stray cat. The cat was aggressive and defeated all attempts to capture it. It is believed to have entered the aircraft the night before the flight. The Pilots unable to fight off the feline which had been locked in the cockpit were forced to fly back to get animal handlers to help them.
The AirAsia Snake scare
Unlike the other incidences, this snake didn’t make it to the cabin but it still caused a scare that forced the pilot to seek an emergency landing. It happened on an Air Asia flight from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to the small city of Tawau off the coast of Borneo in February 2022. The snake was recorded slithering through the lights on the overhead hand luggage compartment. The pilots had to land in the city of Kuching to allow the passengers to disembark and they had to take another flight as their plane was quarantined to be sanitised of the serpent.
Marlin Jackson VS. A Labrador on a Delta Airlines flight
Airlines usually require paperwork to prove that an emotional support animal is well trained for a reason. In June 2017, Marlin Jackson boarded a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to San Diego not knowing he would need 28 stitches to his face before the flight even departed. While securing his seat belt for the window seat, a Labrador belonging to a marine on the middle seat pounced on him and pinned him to the window mauling his face. In a lawsuit against the airline and the owner of the dog, Jackson said he bled so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the plane.
Daniel The Duck
Not all emotional support animals are horrible to travel with, some are actually pretty cool and amusing. Daniel the Duck became a celebrity after being photographed by a passenger while travelling with his owner on a puddle-jumper flight from Charlotte to Asheville North Carolina in 2016. The duck was impressively dressed in red army shoes and a diaper and could be seen staring at the clouds while wagging his tail, an act the owner described meant he was happy. The sweet Indian Runner duck didn’t cause any discomfort on the flight; only smiles and lots of retweets on the internet.
Emotional Support Dog Forces Flight to Seek Emergency Landing
If you thought dog poop cannot cause your flight to be delayed or even seek an emergency landing, think again. In 2014, an emotional support dog pooped on a US Airways flight leaving the attendants to clean after it. After a spree of pooping, the attendants ran out of towels and the stench caused passengers to get sick. The flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia had to be diverted to Kansas City for the situation to be handled. It was a nightmare for the passengers who had been forced to wait two hours after the flight was delayed in LA.
Dexter the Peacock
The peacock would probably have behaved just as well as the duck but United Airlines wasn’t willing to take that risk. The peacock is a celebrity of sorts in New York’s Bushwick neighbourhood where it lives with its owner, the artist Ventiko. Unite Airlines forced the artist and his beautiful peacock to look for another way of getting to Los Angeles after refusing to allow him on board in February 2018. The refusal came after many of the incidents in this list that caused airlines to impose stricter rules on the species, size and training requirements for emotional support animals that can be allowed on board.