US /

'Emotional Support' Snake Doesn't Fly

Airline doesn't allow woman to carry on a 4-foot boa constrictor
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2023 1:20 PM CST
TSA Stops Boa Constrictor in Carry-On
Stock photo   (Getty/Peter Togel)

The TSA reports it headed off a real-life sequel when it found a snake on its way to a plane. Agents at Tampa International Airport found a 4-foot boa constrictor in a carry-on bag last month when it showed up on a checkpoint X-ray, the agency said. The passenger told the agents Bartholomew was her emotional support animal, CBS News reports. But the airline she was flying, when informed by the TSA, would not allow the snake aboard.

Service animals are allowed on flights, though the Department of Transportation says that means only dogs trained to help a passenger with a disability. The department decreed in 2020 that airlines can prohibit animals intended to provide emotional support in the cabin. They can travel in the cargo hold under certain conditions. TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tweeted the X-ray image of the boa constrictor. On Instagram, she added the suggestion that passengers unsure of the rules check with AskTSA. (More TSA stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.