Aircraft to be fumigated after a scorpion is found on American Airlines flight in Sacramento

An American Airlines flight from Sacramento to Chicago was canceled after a scorpion was spotted abroad the aircraft. Above, an Emperor scorpion at Brocketts Film Fauna in Thousand Oaks.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

When you’re a scorpion on an airplane, nobody ever wants to sit next to you.

That’s what one lowly arachnid learned on Sunday when it somehow boarded American Airlines Flight 2672 in Sacramento. Luckily for the flight’s 125 Chicago-bound passengers, somebody spotted the venomous creature before they boarded the aircraft.

“Our first priority is always the safety or our customers and crew,” said Leslie Scott, the airline’s spokeswoman.

Instead of heading to the Windy City, the plane will now be flown without passengers to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where it will be fumigated.

The passengers were re-booked on alternate flights, Scott said.

She was unclear on the fate of the stowaway, however.

Airline officials think the scorpion likely climbed onto the aircraft during a stop in Phoenix.

Sunday’s encounter isn’t the first time a crew member or passenger has spotted a scorpion going on a sky-high adventure.

Earlier this year, scorpions were found on two separate United flights leaving Houston.

In April, a scorpion stung a man who was heading to Canada. The following month, a scorpion had reportedly climbed out of a man’s clothing before the plane took off to Ecuador. The passengers were moved to a new aircraft.

In 2015, a passenger aboard an Alaska Airlines jetliner was stung by a scorpion on her hand.

The woman was pricked by the creature as the aircraft prepared to take off from Los Angeles for Portland, Ore. The woman then brushed the scorpion off her hand and stepped on it.

The plane returned to the gate where paramedics examined the woman. She declined additional medical treatment and decided to skip the flight.

Meanwhile, employees searched the plane and overhead bins for additional scorpions.

No scorpions were found, so the aircraft continued to its destination.

Although the airline did not know where the scorpion came from, a spokesman said the flight originated in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Later, ESPN caught up with some of the flight’s passengers who happened to be members of Oregon State University’s basketball team.

Coach Wayne Tinkle told ESPN he was seated two rows behind the woman and saw everything.

“The woman was a real champ,” he said. “She acted like it was a mosquito bite. They got it off her but the needle was stuck."

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