Series of Unfortunate Events for United? Scorpion Stings a Business Class Passenger in Flight to Canada

Have you ever noticed how there are times when things just go bad, whatever you do – and that you feel like you’re stuck in a series of unfortunate events?

Well, it seems that United Airlines is experiencing such a situation. Aside from the much-publicized incident of the Asian doctor being dragged out of an overbooked flight, the 94-year-old Pinay grandma booted off business class, and a businessman threatened with handcuffs to make room for a ‘higher priority’ passenger on first class, another situation has brought United into bad light again.

It seems that at about the same time the incidence with the Asian doctor happened, United had another problem in one of its flights; although this time, it wasn’t due to its flight crew but a stowaway scorpion! Oooops.

By Shantanu Kuveskar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A man named Richard Bell was on a United flight from Houston, Texas to Calgary, Canada; he was eating lunch in his business class seat when he felt something fall on his hair. He grabbed it but the creature fell on the dinner table. While trying to get the scorpion off, the creature stung him.

Bell was able to shoo the creature away from his table but a nearby passenger saw it on the aisle and cried, “Oh my god, that’s a scorpion.

The flight attendants quickly corralled the scorpion and flushed it down the airplane toilet. Whew!

Photo credit: NBC News

Our flight attendants helped a customer who was stung by what appeared to be a scorpion on a flight last week. Our crew immediately consulted with a MedLink physician on the ground who provided guidance throughout the incident and assured our crew that it was not a life-threatening matter,” United said in a statement.

Another passenger gave Mr. Bell some Benadryl just in case he would have allergic reactions to the scorpion’s sting. Medical personnel were waiting for Bell when the flight landed in Calgary.

According to Bell’s wife Linda who was with him during the flight, United had reached out to them to apologize for the incident and offer compensation; although she did not reveal details of the said compensation.

Photo credit: Linda Bell

To date, it remains unclear how the scorpion got into the plane but it could have entered the aircraft when the plane was in Costa Rica earlier in the day.

While the incident wasn’t the first to happen, the rare occurrence was really just bad timing for the airline’s already stained reputation.