Pax Follies: “I Forgot My Snake” & Insect Smuggling
Forget laptops and tablets. You just really don’t know what some people are carrying with them on planes. Two recent incidents illustrate this.
When a small boy travelling on a commuter flight asked his mother what a large object was, lying near him and partly covered by a bag, the answer startled everyone on the plane.
It turned out somebody had left a snake, about 1.5 metres long, on the Ravn Alaska commuter flight from the Alaskan village of Aniak to Anchorage.
The passenger had departed the plane and left his snake behind. A spokesman for the airline told Anchorage television station KTVA that the snake owner, who had not registered the pet for travel in the cabin, reported that his snake was missing shortly after the plane arrived. The man was later reunited with his favourite reptile.
Happily, this unspecified specimen was dozy rather than venomous and a brave (braver than us) flight attendant dropped it into a plastic garbage bag and stowed it in an overhead locker.
Meanwhile, a Czech national has been fined $2,000 for attempting to smuggle thousands of insects onto a flight out of Australia.
The man was boarding a flight from Perth to Abu Dhabi last month when he was selected by the Australian Border Force (ABF) officers for a baggage examination.
ABF officers examined the bags and found a total of 4226 insects, 27 spiders, and seven scorpions.
As eGlobal Travel Media reports, as the man was detained while boarding, it would seem he intended to take the insects into the plane’s cabin with him. What would have happened if they got loose?
The insects were housed in a series of plastic boxes, ziplock bags and 250-500ml plastic bottles. Apparently, native Australian insects such as these are highly sought after overseas and can be sold to museums and collectors for a tidy profit.