The incident occurred at the Sydney International Airport, where the Qantas plane was preparing for a flight to Tokyo on Sunday. Before the 370 passengers could board the jet, airline employees discovered an 8-inch long Mandarin Rat Snake in the passenger compartment, the Associated Press notes.
The flight was delayed so that the plane could be thoroughly cleaned and any other uninvited reptiles found. The snake was turned over to airport officials who killed it.
Mandarin Rat Snakes can grow up to four feet long. Though venomous, they are not considered a threat to people. However, the species is not native to Australia and could harm the local environment if a mating pair managed to escape the airport.
The snake is thought to have entered the jet on the previous day during a stop in Singapore.
Passengers on the snake-delayed flight spent the night at a nearby hotel. They were put on another plane bound for Tokyo on Monday.