Scorpion on a plane? Alaska Airlines passenger says he got stung

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Traveling is full of creatures great and small. On Wednesday, it was turtles on a JFK runway. On Thursday, it was reports of a scorpion aboard an Alaska Airlines flight this month.

An Oregon man said he was stung by a striped bark scorpion on a flight between Seattle and Anchorage.

“I picked my hand up and said, ‘Oh, my God -- that’s a scorpion,’” Jeff Ellis told KPTV, which also put up a slideshow of photos of the incident.

Ellis said he was trying to sleep on a June 17 flight when he felt something crawling up his sleeve. He said he was stung on the elbow and that it felt like a bee sting.


Two doctors on board checked Ellis. According to the Mayo Clinic website, scorpion stings are seldom life-threatening.

“At first I didn’t believe him,” said Suzanne Foster, Ellis’ girlfriend, said, according to the Associated Press. “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 flight originated in Austin, Texas, where Alaska Airlines officials believe the scorpion got on board, the Associated Press said. It quoted Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan as saying the airline has never had a poisonous creature on one of its flights before.