- The plane leaving Kuala Lumpur was diverted after passengers spotted the snake in the aircraft’s overhead lights; it is unclear how it got there
- There have been multiple instances of snake stowaways during air travel, such as in 2019 when a woman found a python in her shoe
Passengers had a movie-like experience on a flight in Malaysia this past week after someone spotted a snake slithering through the plane’s overhead lights.
In a video posted on TikTok, the silhouette of a long snake could be seen above passengers on an AirAsia flight leaving the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to the city of Tawau on February 10. A caption on the video, which has over 2.6 million views, translates to “snake in plane.” Many comments on the video alluded to the 2006 cult classic film Snakes on a Plane, asking where the movie’s star, Samuel L. Jackson, was when they needed him.
AirAsia’s chief safety officer Captain Liong Tien Ling said in a statement to CNN that several passengers noticed the snake and alerted workers. Once the pilot was told, the flight was diverted to the city of Kuching, around 885km west of Tawau. Ling added that the plane was then fumigated and presumably, the snake was removed before passengers were put back on the plane.
“This is a very rare incident which can occur on any aircraft from time to time,” Ling said. “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.”
It is unclear what type of snake was on the plane and how it got there.
There have been numerous instances in recent years of snakes found on planes. In 2016, a passenger on board a flight from Mexico found a snake squirming in one of the aircraft’s overhead storage bins. A similar instance occurred on one flight from Alaska in 2017.
There have also been scarier incidents, like in 2019 when an Australian woman found a python in her shoe during a more than 14,000km flight, as well as a venomous Indian krait found in a carry-on bag at an Indian airport in 2018.