Oh man, as if the last few weeks could get any worse for United…
In this case I’d argue it’s not United’s fault, but it’s just very bad luck that this is happening on one of their flights (or maybe karma). 😉
This past Sunday (the same day United’s infamous “dragging” happened) a Canadian couple, Richard and Linda Bell, were on their way home from a vacation in Mexico. They took a United flight from Houston to Calgary, UA1418. During the flight a scorpion fell from the overhead bin onto Richard. Global News Canada reports:
A man sitting next to them on the plane pointed it out was a scorpion — and dangerous.
Richard dropped it on his plate, then picked it up again. That’s when it stung him.
It “felt like a wasp sting,” he said.
The scorpion was likely a stowaway in someone’s luggage. Another passenger on the flight stomped on the creature before it was thrown in a toilet.
The flight was met by emergency services, though the passenger didn’t end up requiring treatment. Unfortunately flushing the scorpion down the toilet probably wasn’t the best move, since they couldn’t analyze the creature to see if it was poisonous.
I’m also not sure why the passenger decided to pick up the scorpion again. He explained it fell on him, he put it on the tray, and a passenger told him it’s dangerous. But then he picked it up again, which is the point at which he got stung.
Personally I don’t think it’s fair to blame United for this one. It’s likely that a passenger brought on the creature in their luggage, and I don’t think it represents any sort of negligence on United’s part. We’ve seen plenty of creatures make surprise visits on other airlines, from snakes on Aeromexico to rats on Air India (arguably the latter was within Air India’s control, since it was a recurring problem they had that they chose not to address).
This is still a creepy incident, though…