by Kieran McGovern Intermediate

Some air passengers seem a little confused about what you can take on a plane as hand luggage.

A man recently flew into the USA with a monkey under his hat. He clearly needs to read the rules. So does the woman who travelled several thousand miles with a
kitten in her handbag.

And there’s no excuse for smuggling three stolen
iguanas onboard an international flight in a false leg.

Under his hat

The man and his monkey started their journey in Lima, Peru. They then had a stopover in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Here they passed through a security check.

Everything was fine until the plane was in the air. Then the monkey climbed out from under the man’s hat and sat on his
ponytail. ‘Did you know you have a monkey on you?’ a fellow passenger asked politely.

I think he did know.


The monkey sat quietly for the rest of the journey. This doesn’t surprise me because small monkeys aren’t bad travel companions. Yes, they do want a lot of attention - but so do young children. And monkeys are more entertaining than screaming two-year-olds.

I once sat next to a monkey on a bus in Vietnam. I first noticed him when he moved in the bag of the passenger next to me. I thought I was dreaming until he climbed out.

The bus driver didn’t charge him for a ticket.

Flying Kitten

Cats are not good travellers and they insist on flying first class. The stray kitten probably slept through the 2,800-mile journey from Iran to Newcastle, UK. She passed through security checks in Tehran and Amsterdam without a problem.

Customs officer at Newcastle Airport discovered the stowaway kitten while checking the woman’s luggage. Finally the cat was let out of the bag.

Airline security staff may not be looking for kittens or monkeys. But they are aware of the illegal trade in endangered reptiles. So how do you transport three iguanas across the world?

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