Passenger Stowed Slithering Surprise In Carry-On, Security Uncovers The Pet Before Takeoff

Jan 09, 2023 by apost team

The United States' notorious Transport Authority Administration, or TSA, was established with the mission to "protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce." While this goal may make it sound like the officers of the TSA spend their days thwarting terrorist plots and preventing imminent disasters, more often than not, they are tasked with taking oversized shampoo bottles off of absent-minded travelers. 

Increased security measures, which were beefed up during post-9/11 restructures, mean that airline travelers have more and more fine print to navigate when it comes to successfully passing through security and boarding. Beyond the obvious fireworks and firearms, lithium batteries, large amounts of liquids, and other items all come with special restrictions. Some prohibited items make sense, and, you think, most would know not to pack them in their carry-on. 

However, the TSA has launched a social media campaign to bring to light some of the more embarrassing and obvious blunders that travelers make when trying to pass through the metal detectors. A special Instagram account was established to both educate and humor audiences by revealing what TSA officers find in roll-away suitcases, ski bags, and even jars of peanut butter. 

In January 2023, the account alerted its followers to a "danger noodle" at Tampa International Airport. The #NopeRope was tucked into a passenger's carry-on with the hopes that this slithering stowaway would not be discovered until they reached their destination. While the post included images from the scan of the suspicious bag, which along with electronics and changers, carried something which may cause some travelers to seriously reconsider train travel.

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While a snake on a plane has, for most folks, stayed the plot to a 2006 Samuel L. Jackson movie, the premise almost became a reality for some travelers in the US. One woman had packed her slithering friend, perhaps unknowing of the rules regarding flying with a pet, into her carry-on.

Generally, when flying with animals, be they covered in fur or scales, the TSA advises travelers to "check with (their) airline" given different carriers may have different rules. While in general, "small pets are allowed through the checkpoint," they may be barred from flying if the regulations aren't met.

However, should your pet pass this hurdle, the TSA is prepared to ready them for their flight, just as they would with a human passenger. The administration advises that once in line at security, travelers prepare their animal for inspection by TSA officers. Once at their designated scanner, they ask that they "remove (their) pet from (their) carrying case and place the case through the X-ray machine." They advise that pet owners "maintain control of (their) pet." 

However, these rules don't cover the entire animal kingdom, and some pet owners may find themselves at a loss as to how to take their critter on a plane, which was the case at Tampa International.

In revealing the alarming 4-foot boa constrictor which was discovered in the Florida carry-on, the administration took the opportunity to remind travelers that they can message AskTSA, who is ready to "rattle out responses to your questions 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. 6 p.m. (ET)" Hopefully, in the future, all herpetologists find more appropriate ways to take Kaa on vacation with them.

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What's the strangest thing you've seen pulled out of a bag at the security check? Let us know — and be sure to pass this article on to friends, family, as well as any fellow snake enthusiasts!

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