By Alison Fox
December 09, 2019

There are many things passengers may dread about flying: cramped seats, bumpy turbulence, baggage limits. But being stung by a scorpion isn’t usually top of mind.

Unfortunately that nightmare became one passenger's reality when the creepy, crawly arachnid stung her mid-air on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Atlanta last week, Time reported.

Medical personnel met the flight when it landed in Atlanta on Thursday and transported the woman to the hospital.

The woman felt a stinging sensation on her leg and headed into the bathroom to investigate, TMZ reported. When she got to the restroom, a live scorpion fell out of her pants leg.

It started crawling across the floor and was eventually caught by some brave flight attendants.

“After learning that one of our customers on flight 1554 from San Francisco to Atlanta was stung during flight, our crew responded immediately and consulted with a MedLink physician on the ground who provided medical guidance,” a United Airlines representative told TMZ. “Upon landing in Atlanta, the flight was met by medical personnel and the customer was transported to a local hospital. We have been in contact with our customer to ensure her wellbeing."

United Airlines
Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This isn’t the first time a scorpion tried to hitch a ride on a plane — far from it. In February, a woman was stung while on an Air Transat flight from Toronto to Calgary, first noticing a “fluttering motion" on her lower back.

In April 2017, a man was stung by a scorpion that fell out of the overhead compartment while on a United Airlines flight from Houston to Calgary. A fellow passenger then grabbed the scorpion and stomped on it, throwing its remains out in the toilet.

In May 2017, a scorpion climbed out of a man’s suitcase on another United Airlines flight from Houston to Quito. The flight returned to the gate and no one was stung. And in September 2017, an American Airlines flight from Sacramento to Chicago was grounded after a scorpion was spotted aboard the plane.

While we have no desire to see one of these creatures on our next flight, it’s good to know their stings are rarely life-threatening, according to the Mayo Clinic — though they are painful.