It seems that a Qantas airliner was grounded in Melbourne, Australia, while ground staff searched for some unwanted stowaways.
FOUR escaped pythons have caused a Qantas plane to be grounded in Melbourne after airline staff failed to find them.
The young Stimson's pythons, four of 12 in a container in the Boeing 737-800's cargo hold, apparently escaped on Tuesday during a 2½-hour flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne.
With Qantas staff unable to find the escapees among the luggage in the hold, the aircraft was removed from service and a 4pm Melbourne-to-Sydney flight was cancelled.
Qantas spokesman Joe Aston said the 12 juvenile pythons measured about 15 centimetres and were travelling in "an appropriate" container. He said it was not clear how the four had escaped.
"While (the container) was intact on departure (from Alice Springs), it was discovered on arrival that four of those animals had broken free," he said yesterday.
Passengers waiting to catch flight 446 to Sydney were put on a later flight and asked to provide an address to Qantas staff so their luggage, delayed during the search for the reptiles, could be forwarded to them.
. . .
Mr Aston said that after establishing that the species was not threatened or endangered, the aircraft was fumigated to kill the four pythons.
I hope they're sure that fumigation did the job. If I'd been a passenger on that plane, and had my luggage forwarded to me, I'd be very, very careful how I opened it!