Friday, September 25, 2015

Flight to Atlanta grounded due to tarantula problem

ATLANTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- We've all heard of snakes on a plane, but how about spiders? A Delta flight from Baltimore to Atlanta was delayed Thursday morning, not by weather or mechanical issues, but an eight legged issue. 

Traveling can be a real headache, and it certainly was for one flight coming into Atlanta. "Delta told us it's a mechanical issue, and they weren't sure when the plane was going to be ready but that we would all be re-booked," said one passenger, Aileen Carlucci.

Aileen Carlucci was all set to fly from Baltimore to Atlanta when she and her husband were told their plane was not going anywhere. "All of the excitement in Baltimore and Washington has been the Pope being in town. I did not expect the excitement of what happened to me on the Delta flight," she said.

The excitement, some fellow travelers, most passengers didn't even know about. "My husband and I went to go be booked at another counter, and when we did the ticketing agent said they had tarantulas on the plane and that was the reason nobody could get on to the plane," the passenger said.

A Delta representative tells us an employee saw a tarantula loose in the baggage carrier. The plane had traveled from Atlanta to Baltimore, and was returning back to Atlanta. They could not comment on how many spiders were on board the flight due to customer privacy. "The plane had some in the night before, someone had transported the tarantulas, they weren't sure how many had gotten loose, but they were loose!" Carlucci said.

Another passenger on that same flight lives here in Augusta. He said the captain personally told him 750 rare African Tarantulas were on board, and most got loose. "I thought she was kidding, I thought it was a crazy joke. My son had told me about this movie, Snakes on a Plane," she tells News 12.

In the end, everyone made it to Atlanta, on what they hope was a spider-free flight. "I don't think anyone is going to believe me that this actually happened but I have a great story to tell at the wedding," she said.

The scary part, the spider was found in the cargo bin, in the same spot the checked baggage is stowed. Carlucci said she checked her bag, and she didn't find any stow away tarantulas inside. Delta says it's not unusual to be transporting tarantulas, it's an approved travel case, the spiders just need the right ventilation to fly. They could not comment on what kind of container they were being stored in either. The representative did say the handler was able to contain the spider situation.

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