In this Sunday, March 19, 2017 photo, a flight attendant holds a snake found on a Ravn Alaska flight between Aniak, Alaska and Anchorage. The snake escaped from a passenger on a previous flight. The flight attendant captured the reptile and placed it in a trash bag and stowed it in an overhead luggage compartment. (Anna McConnaughy via AP)

In this Sunday, March 19, 2017 photo, a flight attendant holds a snake found on a Ravn Alaska flight between Aniak, Alaska and Anchorage. The snake escaped from a passenger on a previous flight. The flight attendant captured the reptile and placed it in a trash bag and stowed it in an overhead luggage compartment. (Anna McConnaughy via AP)

That’s not carry-on: Loose snake slumbers on Alaska flight

ANCHORAGE — Anna McConnaughy was flying to Alaska’s largest city when the announcement came over the intercom: a passenger on a previous flight had brought a pet snake on board.

The passenger had gotten off the plane. The snake had not.

“The pilot came, and said, ‘Guys, we have some loose snake on the plane, but we don’t know where it is,’” McConnaughy said Tuesday.

Unlike the movie “Snakes On A Plane,” this one wasn’t venomous. Mostly, it was sleepy.

A little boy, one of seven passengers on the Ravn Alaska commuter flight Sunday from the Alaska village of Aniak to Anchorage, was climbing on his seat when he spotted the slumbering snake. It was lying partially covered by a duffel bag near the back of the plane.

“He said, ‘Oh, Mom, look at this. What’s that?’” McConnaughy said. “That’s how we figured out there was a snake sleeping in the corner.”

There was no panic. McConnaughy said. Mostly people wanted to see the snake.

A pilot came back to help, she said, leading to a short discussion with a flight attendant on how best to capture it.

“He said, ‘I’ll hold the bag, and you grab the snake,’” McConnaughy said. “Quite a gentleman.”

The flight attendant grabbed the snake by the belly and dropped it into a plastic trash bag. It spent the rest of the flight in an overhead storage bin, and the plane reached Anchorage on schedule.

Anchorage television station KTVA first reported the incident.

McConnaughy’s photos show a pale snake about 4 to 5 feet long. She said it appeared to want only to go back to sleep.

A spokesman for the airline, William Walsh, said in a statement that the snake owner had not registered the pet for travel in the cabin of the Ravn Alaska flight. After arriving in Aniak, he reported that his snake was missing and likely on the return trip to Anchorage.

The airline was thankful for the heads-up, Walsh said. However, it has specific requirements for carrying on reptiles. Ravn Alaska does not allow any large animal that’s not a dog to be used as a service animal.

McConnaughy said there are plenty of snakes where she grew up in the Russian Far East. However, there are no wild snakes in most of Alaska, and she’s not crazy about them, she said.

“Here in Alaska, it’s kind of weird,” she said.

In this Sunday, March 19, 2017 photo, a flight attendant places a snake into a plastic trash bag on a Ravn Alaska flight between Aniak, Alaska and Anchorage. The snake escaped from a passenger on a previous flight. A flight attendant captured the reptile and placed it in a trash bag and stowed it in an overhead luggage compartment. (Anna McConnaughy via AP)

In this Sunday, March 19, 2017 photo, a flight attendant places a snake into a plastic trash bag on a Ravn Alaska flight between Aniak, Alaska and Anchorage. The snake escaped from a passenger on a previous flight. A flight attendant captured the reptile and placed it in a trash bag and stowed it in an overhead luggage compartment. (Anna McConnaughy via AP)

More in News

Copies of the Peninsula Clarion are photographed on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Announcing a new Peninsula Clarion print schedule

Our last Wednesday edition will be delivered June 26.

A bucket of recently caught sockeye salmon rests on the sand while anglers seek to fill it further at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetting in Kasilof opens Tuesday

Dipnetting will be allowed at all times until Aug. 7

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game restricts bait on Kasilof, Ninilchik Rivers

The use of bait on the rivers will begin Friday and extend to July 15 in Ninilchik, July 31 in Kasilof

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bag limits doubled for sockeye salmon in Resurrection Bay

The increase is effective from June 21 to July 31

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School on Thursday, April 18.
Caring for the Kenai winners receive EPA award

Winning team of the 34th annual Caring for the Kenai was selected for the President’s Environmental Youth Award

Norm Blakely speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves resolution guiding efforts to increase voter turnout

The Voter Turnout Working Group was established to explore options and ideas aimed at increasing voter participation

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Update: Bodies of 2 men retrieved from submerged plane in wake of reported Moose Pass crash

A pair of hikers witnessed and reported the crash around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, trooper say

Most Read