Traveler’s emotional support snake found in TSA X-ray at Florida airport

Airlines don’t allow snakes in plane cabins, TSA says

Snake (lower right corner) inside a carry-on bag at Tampa International Airport. (TSA)

TAMPA, Fla. – A sneaking snake was stopped by security at Tampa International Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration says Bartholomew the boa constrictor was hanging out in a traveler’s carry-on bag at the airport last month and was spotted by TSA’s security x-ray.

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The traveler told officials Bartholomew was her emotional support snake. The airline, however, declined letting the snake onboard in the carry-on.

In 2020, the TSA ruled that airlines could treat emotional support animals as regular pets, not service pets, which means their presence on a plane would be subject to the same rules and fees as regular pets.

Even so, airlines do not allow snakes in plane cabins because they can get out and hide easily. Some allow snakes in checked luggage.

Last year, a number of pets have been spotted by TSA X-ray machines at airports, including a dog and a cat.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.