When Bad Things Happen to Good Airline Passengers

Disclosure: The subject of this story is a friend of mine, though I didn’t realize this at first because she was not named in initial news reports. She is a very nice woman and a very brave one, as you will see.

On Valentine’s Day, Annie Simone was sitting in an Alaskan Airlines plane at Los Angeles International Airport about to head to Portland, Ore. when a bizarre and scary incident took place. [Video below]

Stung by a Scorpion

Simone was stung by a scorpion. A scorpion! A passenger behind her first noticed the creature and flicked it off himself only to have it land in Simone’s lap. “In his defense,” she said, “he didn’t know it was a scorpion.” Presumably because one does not expect to find such things on a plane. Simone sent it flying and stomped on the scorpion, but not before it stung her finger.

The plane went back to the gate and Simone was seen by paramedics then declined their offer to go to a hospital. “Probably being a nurse, I was in complete denial that I needed further attention,” said Simone who then spent part of the next day in the emergency room thanks to “numbness and tingling” in her hands, feet and face. She is happy to report “no interventions were required” and is now doing well.

What Alaska Airlines Did to Help

According to Reuters, it’s not clear how a scorpion got on the plane, but as an Alaska spokesperson helpfully noted, “The flight did originate in Los Cabos, Mexico, where scorpions are known to live.” The airline was more helpful to our stingee. “She was extremely nice and compassionate,” said Simone of the Alaska rep who phoned her. Even nicer, she indicated, was the airline’s offer of $500 toward future travel – on what one hopes are scorpion-free flights.

So – is our heroine afraid to step on a plane again? Not at all. Any qualms about Alaska flights? None whatsoever. “I look forward to flying with them soon,” added Simone.

If There’s a Problem on Your Plane

If you get stung by a scorpion, find snakes on a plane or have a serious disagreement with a fellow passenger, do not try to handle it yourself. Hit the call button and ask a flight attendant to intervene. As they are fond of saying, your safety is their first priority.

VIDEO: The scorpion-stinging incident, as envisioned by TOMO News.


Updated: February 18, 2015