Passenger bitten by scorpion in new United Airlines scandal

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 14.04.2017 15:44
Updated 14.04.2017 15:51
A United Airlines jet arrives at the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 19 September 2014 (reissued 13 April 2017). (EPA Photo)
A United Airlines jet arrives at the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 19 September 2014 (reissued 13 April 2017). (EPA Photo)

A passenger claims to have been bitten by a scorpion on a United Airlines flight from Houston to Calgary as the air carrier is still reeling from Monday's scandal when a customer was violently dragged off an overbooked flight.

Richard Bell and his wife Linda, who were traveling business class, told reporters that Richard was eating his dinner when a scorpion fell onto his head from the storage area above. He then dropped the arachnid onto his plate and tried to grab it by its tail when it stung his finger.

The flight crew came to Bell's assistance and consulted with a MedLink physician on the ground, who guided them through the incident. A fellow passenger gave Bell medication in case he suffered an allergic reaction. Although some scorpion bites can be fatal, Bell was found to be in a normal state of health when the first aid team meet him upon landing.

It is not clear how the scorpion came to be on the plane. Bell said that it might have been hiding inside a guitar case, which was brought on board by travelers who had recently visited South America. United Airlines apologized to the couple and offered flight travel credits in order to compensate for the unpleasant experience.

The incident took place the same day a physician was dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight. After no one volunteered for giving up their seat to staff members despite the offer of up to $1000 in compensation, four customers were chosen at random on the basis of a combination of criteria.

One of them, 69-year old David Gao, refused to vacate his seat and was removed from the plane by force. The incident placed Gao in hospital with a concussion, a broken nose, knocked-out teeth and damaged sinuses.

United Airlines is now skewered with jokes over the scandal and has seen a drop in its stock ratings.

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