Top Airline Animal Stories Reviewed

Snakes on a plane, almost: Snakes made news as the summer season got underway when a Delta flight paused before take-off in San Francisco because the pilot did not want to "squish" a snake on the runway. He must have had great eyesight since the reptile in question was a six-inch garter snake. Meanwhile, at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport an official said they've had to confiscate a lot of oddball items this summer; past and present finds include live snakes and, intriguingly, "a bag of ferrets."

Shark week: Singapore Airlines is the latest to ban cargo shipments of shark fins used to make the popular Asian soup. It's been estimated that as many as 100 million sharks are being killed each year just for the fins but they will no longer be transported by Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Korean Air and Thai Airways.

Shark vs. plane: While researching the item above, I stumbled across a movie clip from "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus" (2009) which you won't find on any Oscar lists but does feature the finest shark vs. airplane scene ever (OK, probably the only one). A highlight shows passengers aboard a 747 screaming as Mega Shark attacks the plane at 30,000 feet (yes, this shark is quite the jumper). YouTube viewers had a field day with the not-so-special effects but one commenter zeroed-in on the most implausible detail: "Do they really expect me to believe an airplane has that much leg room?"

Sniffer dog announcement: A crew member on the budget Australian carrier Jetstar reportedly told passengers to flush away "anything you shouldn't have" because sniffer dogs were standing by and boom, there was a rush to the restrooms. Whether the fact that many of the passengers were returning from the Splendour in the Grass music festival had anything to do with it is unknown. The airline later said the crew member had taken a routine announcement about Australia's strict quarantine laws for plants and fruit "too far".

Most unusual animal information on an official website: I nominate this nugget, courtesy the United Kingdom's government services site: "Getting and using a horse passport". In case you were curious, these passports are also valid for ponies and donkeys.

And here's hoping your summer travels are going well, with or without a passport.

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