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Snake on a plane: Unwanted reptile passenger sneaks onto United flight

Once alerted by passengers, crew members "called the appropriate authorities to take care of the situation."
Image: United Airlines
United Airlines planes on the runway at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey in November.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

Passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 2038 were in for a slithering surprise when they found a snake on their plane Monday.

Unlike in the 2006 cult film "Snakes on a Plane," starring Samuel L. Jackson, however, this lone garter snake was not venomous.

Once passengers alerted them about the reptile, crew members on the flight, which was bound for New Jersey from Tampa, Florida, "called the appropriate authorities to take care of the situation," United Airlines said in a statement.

The airline did not clarify when the snake was discovered or how it got on the plane.

After the plane landed at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday afternoon, wildlife operations and the Port Authority Police Department removed the snake and released it into the wild, officials said.

No injuries were reported, and there was no impact to airport operations, the authority said.

It isn't the first time passengers on a plane have been welcomed by a rogue reptile.

In 2016, passengers on Aeromexico Flight 23 were joined by a snake hanging right above their seats.