There’s nothing in the Alaska Airlines contract of carriage about arachnid attacks, so when a passenger on board one of its planes was stung by a scorpion, the airline could have easily shrugged it off as one of those crazy things that happen when you’re a world traveler. Instead, someone at Alaska Air realized this was an opportunity to go above and beyond.
The sting in question occurred on a June 17 red-eye flight from Seattle to Anchorage. The passenger had dozed off but woke up to the sensation of what he thought was a small bug on his arm.
“Then I felt it crawling on me again,” he tells Oregon’s KPTV. “I picked my hand up and said, oh my God, that’s a scorpion.”
He wrapped the offending stinger in a napkin and showed it to his girlfriend while he called over a flight attendant.
“At first I didn’t believe him,” says his gal pal. “But then I saw it. He held the napkin up for me to see and I saw the tail, wiggling. I pretty much jumped out of my seat.”
The passenger felt a burning sensation in his elbow and a pair of doctors on board the flight checked him out while the flight crew alerted medics on the ground in Anchorage.
Though no one knows where the arachnid, believed to be a striped bark scorpion, had boarded the plane, it’s most likely that it had hopped on at the jet’s point of origin in Austin, TX.
A rep for the airlines tells KPTV this is the first time the carrier has ever had to deal with a poisonous animal on board.
Meanwhile, the passenger, who says he was pleased with how the crew handled things, has been offered 4,000 frequent flier miles and two round-trip tickets to wherever the airline flies.
In 2009, a half-dozen scorpions were found in an overhead compartment on a Southwest Airlines plane. The incident, which occurred while passengers were preparing to disembark, caused a panic on the plane as travelers leapt onto their seats and screamed.
Thanks to Evelyn for the tip!