Real Life Snakes on a Plane
In time for tomorrow's movie opening, Joe Hodas, spokesperson for award-winning Frontier Airlines, gives us the 411 on flying with creatures
Has there ever been an animal loose on a Frontier flight?
Beyond the occasional rowdy unaccompanied minor, no. However, we did recently ship a six-foot-long albino alligator to the Los Angeles Zoo, but he was in the cargo hold. There's also a story that's circulated that we once had a ferret that got loose in the cabin, and that we cornered him in the aft lavatory. However, we don't allow animals in the cabin (we used to, but not any longer because of allergies, etc,). So, the ferret was essentially "illegal," and as a result, to the best of our knowledge no one claimed him. The flight attendants actually took the ferret with them on the overnight (last flight of the night). They kept him in the bathroom all night with some water and veggies, brought him back to Denver the next day, and turned him in.
What should someone do if he or she finds a snake in a cabin?
First, to be clear, our FAA-approved manual says that "rodents, reptiles, amphibians, snakes, spiders, and insects are not accepted in the cabin for any reasons." However, since we know that passengers don't always follow the rules, the first suggestion would be to very calmly and quietly alert your flight attendant to your concerns. Second, do not open the door to usher the snake out while in flight. It might sound like a good idea, but trust us--it's not! Finally, depending on the size of the snake, you could capture him in a barf bag, or possibly remove your luggage from the overhead bin, remove all your items from your luggage, and capture him in a suitcase.
What would you do if you saw a snake slither down the cabin aisle?
First, lift my feet up. Second, request another cocktail from the flight attendant-- immediately!
Are flight attendants trained to handle animal and reptile attacks?
Not specifically. They're more concerned with human attacks in this day and age. But I've seen some of our flight attendants handle some tough situations, and suffice it to say, the reptiles don't stand a chance against a Frontier flight attendant.
What's the most unusual animal you've ever had to transport?
Apparently we transported two serval cats on their way to Indonesia that flew part way on us. The mating pair was reported to be worth over $250,000. And of course, the recent transport of the albino alligator from Orlando to the L.A. Zoo.
Would you ever make a snake one of your airplane-tail characters? Why or why not?
While we certainly love all animals, the snake lacks that "Frontier look." When editors of Vogue choose the next cover model, they're in search of "the look," and for us, snakes just don't have what we're looking for. That said, if we found a furry, friendly snake, we might have to reconsider. But I'm not familiar with any that fit that mold.
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