Life imitated art in dramatic fashion on a flight from Bangkok to the island of Phuket when a snake emerged above an overhead compartment in front of shocked tourists.
Horrified fliers spotted the 2ft-long reptile when it emerged mid-air next to a light inside the AirAsia Airbus A320 on Saturday afternoon.
Passengers directly below the serpent recoiled in horror and leaped from their seats to stand in the aisle – fearing a repeat of the horror movie Snakes on a Plane.
But, as footage shows, a brave member of the cabin crew reached up to the snake and used an empty plastic bottle to push it into a plastic bag.
Still unsure whether the snake was venomous – and potentially deadly – it was then fastened securely and stored in a cupboard.
Life imitated art in dramatic fashion on a flight from Bangkok to the island of Phuket when a snake emerged above an overhead compartment in front of shocked tourists. A brave member of the cabin crew reached up to the snake and used an empty plastic bottle to push it into a plastic bag.
One of the stunned passengers, a British holidaymaker from the UK, said: ‘I was clenching my buttocks when I saw the snake. I don’t like creepy crawlies at the best of times, let alone snakes above my head.
‘I was pretty relieved when they took it away. The flight attendant was calm and professional. But I was twitching every time I felt something, thinking there might be another on the plane.
‘I’ve watched the movie, but I never thought it would happen to me in real life. What a start to my beach trip.’
One of the stunned passengers, a British holidaymaker from the UK, said: ‘I was clenching my buttocks when I saw the snake. I don’t like creepy crawlies at the best of times, let alone snakes above my head.’ Ground staff removed the snake before passengers disembarked
The female filmer of the video, who runs the Wanna B Salon Phuket, said: ‘Snakes can fly, too! It all happened above my head. They found a snake on a plane.
‘It happened while the plane was beginning its descent for landing.’
Ground staff at the Phuket International Airport boarded the jet before any passengers were able to depart. They searched carry-on bags to make sure none of the passengers had smuggled the snake – or other animals – onboard the flight.
The snake was later identified as a Blanford’s bridle snake, a species of harmless colubrid snake that is endemic to Asia.
They are non-venomous and avoid attacking humans.
In October last year, a rat and an otter that were smuggled in a passenger’s hand luggage along with other exotic creatures sparked chaos when they escaped mid-air and bit an air hostess’s hand on a VietJet flight from Bangkok to Taiwan.
While in December, a Taiwanese holidaymaker was caught smuggling a prairie dog and two otters through the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.
Security staff had become suspicious of the large bulge in his pants.
Officials have not commented on whether the snake slithered into the plane on its own or if it escaped from a passenger’s luggage.
Thai Air Asia X, the AirAsia subsidiary that operates flights in the country, has been approached for comment.
Its eccentric owner Tony Fernandes was criticised in October last year for posting a topless picture of himself receiving a massage during an office meeting.
He bought British football club QPR in 2011 alongside Ruben Gnanalingam and Kamarudin Meranun before stepping down as co-chairman in 2018.
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Snake on a plane! Footage captures the moment a SERPENT emerges above an overhead bin mid-flight in front of horrified passengers