This has not been a good week for United. First, a video of a man being violently dragged off of a plane to make room for crew members went viral, sparking public outrage. Then, the story of another man in a similar situation being threatened with handcuffs surfaced. And if that PR didn’t sting enough already, the scorpion that stung a man on a flight out of Houston sure did! Wound up in controversy, the last thing that United wants is something to add to this nightmare. And a nightmare is exactly what they got! On a flight from Pheonix to Los Angeles, a Reticulated Python, one of the largest species of snakes, escaped from its enclosure and began to crawl through the cabin. Luckily, crew members were able to get the snake back in its cage before anyone got hurt.
This probably has you asking, how did the snake get on the plane in the first place? On April 7th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit court decided in the case of United States Association of Reptile Keepers v. Humane Society of the United States that the Lacey Act could not be interpreted to prohibit the shipment of animals deemed to be injurious to humans by the Secretary of the Interior across state lines within the continental United States. This allows people bring potentially dangerous snakes, such as the Reticulated Python, onto planes.
This is the first incident of this nature since the ruling, but it expected that more will occur. Call your congressperson, and ask them to amend the Lacey Act to outlaw the shipment of these dangerous snakes, before it is too late!