Alaska flight disrupted by stowaway snake

A slippery stowaway was found on a domestic flight in Alaska, causing a commotion among passengers in a scene reminiscent of the film Snakes on the Plane.

It was an odd sight for crew and passengers on Ravn Alaska flight 7133 on Sunday (local time) when the pale and rather large snake was spotted curled up under a carry-on bag, local TV news station KTVA reports.

The state does have the common garter snake in some parts, but otherwise it is snake-free.

A witness on the 90-minute flight between Aniak in southwest Alaska to Anchorage says one of the pilots told passengers about the snake on the loose around 15 minutes after takeoff.

Photos taken during the flight show a flight attendant placing the placid snake, estimated to be around 1.5 metres long, into a bag.

An airline spokesperson said bringing the snake on board was a breach of their policy, which bans "all rodents, ferrets, reptiles, snakes, insects or any type of venomous or poisonous creature from being used as an emotional support animal".

The flight landed on schedule.

It is by no means the first time a snake has wound up in the fuselage.

In January this year, an Emirates flight from Muscat, Oman to Dubai was cancelled after a snake was seen in the cargo hold. No passengers were on board at the time.

In November, passengers on an Aeromexico flight in Mexico got a fright when a large green snake emerged from the overhead luggage compartment.

Passengers moved out of the way just in time for the snake to fall to the floor where it was trapped using blankets.

The plane was given priority landing in Mexico City.

A flight between Stockholm and Oslo also had a surprise guest in September. The 10-15cm snake was later captured by the captain and released.

Passengers were kept in the dark about the incident which happened before the flight took off from Arlanda Airport.

Samuel L Jackson starred in the 2006 film, the concept of which had been popularised by internet users.