Airport Security Finds ‘Emotional Support’ Boa Constrictor in Carry-on Bag


The Transportation Security Administration has been kept on its toes in recent months. First, there was a stowaway cat. Then, a dog in a backpack. Now a more exotic pet is getting its moment in the X-ray limelight. 

TSA found a boa constrictor in a carry-on bag at Tampa International Airport in December.

On Friday, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein shared an image of the snake curled up inside the luggage, as seen by an X-ray machine. The boa’s name is Bartholomew, which is a pretty great name for a boa. 

The snake seemed to be sharing space in the bag with some shoes and a laptop. “Woman claimed the snake was her emotional support pet,” Farbstein tweeted. “TSA notified the airline, which ruled that there was not going to be a snake on their plane!”

While boa constrictors can reach 13 feet (3.9 meters) in length, Bartholomew clocked in at 4 feet, which is how it was able to handily squeeze into a carry-on bag.

TSA shared more details on Instagram, saying, “Don’t get upsetti spaghetti by not understanding your airline’s rules.  For instance, airlines don’t allow nope ropes in carry-on bags and only a few allow them to slither around in checked bags, if packaged correctly.”

When in doubt, you can always ask TSA about what’s allowed in your luggage. TSA is on the “nope” side of the nope ropes, which is slang for “snakes,” when it comes to carry-ons.