Snake shocks airline passengers

A python lies wedged on the wing of a Qantas passenger plan as it flies over Port Moresby January...

A python lies wedged on the wing of a Qantas passenger plan as it flies over Port Moresby January 10, 2013 in this handout picture.

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:59 PM ET

It was Snakes on a Plane for real on an Australian flight Thursday after a three-metre python hitched a ride.

The Qantas flight was about 20 minutes out of Cairns, on its way to Papua New Guinea, when a passenger alerted everyone to a snake on the wing, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The scrub python — the longest snake in a country known for having many of the world's deadliest — was flapping off the side of the plane. It repeatedly tucked itself back under the wing, but kept getting dragged back out by the wind, the report said.

Passenger Robert Weber told the paper the snake was in a "life and death" struggle, fighting 400 km/h winds and subzero temperatures.

Its efforts were "ultimately futile."

A spokeswoman for the airline, quoted in the report, said, "We have never heard of this happening before."


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