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Culture > News

Someone Literally Got Stung By a Scorpion on a United Flight

United Airlines keeps taking L’s. First, they kicked two young girls off of a flight for wearing leggings. Then, video of United employees violently dragging a passenger off of an overbooked flight sparked international backlash. And all of two days ago, a woman came forward with allegations that she was groped by a fellow passenger mid-flight.

In an astonishingly short period of time after these events, United has managed to ruin a passenger’s day yet again. And this time, poisonous insects were involved.

Last Sunday, Richard Bell boarded a United Airlines flight from Houston, Texas to Calgary, Canada on the way home from a vacation. As Bell tried to eat his in-flight lunch, according to the BBC, something fell from the overhead compartment onto his head. That something was a live scorpion. (Ew.)

In an interview with CNN, Bell’s wife, Linda, described the moment when the scorpion landed on her husband. “He grabbed [the scorpion] out of his hair and it fell onto his dinner table. As he was grabbing it by the tail it stung him.”

Flight attendants were able to catch the scorpion and flush it down an onboard toilet. Luckily, there were painkillers on board to temporarily treat Bell before landing. When the flight touched down in Canada, Bell received further assistance from medical officials at the airport.

United Airlines has not provided an explanation for how the scorpion ended up on board.

Naturally, social media didn’t waste time in cracking jokes about the incident.


Or throwing shade at United for their previous screw-ups.


As with the other PR nightmares they faced this week, United offered the Bells compensation for the incident. The couple didn’t specify what, exactly, “compensation” for an unexpected scorpion sting entailed.

At this rate, we know which airline would be responsible if Snakes On a Plane were to happen IRL.