GOL Passenger Gets More Than He Paid For With Scorpion Sting

A passenger flying with Brazilian airline GOL has got more than he bargained for on his flight to Fortaleza. The passenger, traveling on a Boeing 737-800, had a scorpion fall on his shoulder, which then stung him on his finger. While not a common situation, it’s not the first time scorpions have caused havoc on a commercial flight.

GOL Boeing 737-800
A GOL passenger got stung by a scorpion mid-flight. Photo: GOL

GOL passenger finds a sting in the tail

Booking a ticket on a low-cost airline is a great way to get around for less. However, as one passenger has found out this week, cheap fares can sometimes come with a sting in the tail. A passenger flying on Brazilian airline GOL was enjoying his low-cost trip to Fortaleza when he was painfully stung by a scorpion.

The passenger was flying with GOL Linhas Aereas from Campinas to Fortaleza on flight number 9185. Although GOL was famously the first airline in the world to resume Boeing 737 MAX flights, this was not a MAX aircraft he was on. Rather, it was a 13-year-old Boeing 737-800, registered PR-GTQ.

Reporting in the Rio Times states that the traveler felt something fall onto his shoulder partway through the flight. Without thinking, he automatically raised his hand to brush it off. That’s when he felt a sting on the fingers of his left hand.

Scorpion on GOL flight
It’s not known what species the scorpion was. Photo: PxHere

Having discovered it was indeed a stowaway scorpion, the passenger was looked after by cabin crew until the aircraft landed. On arrival at the airport, a medical team saw to the passenger’s injuries. In a statement, the airline said,

“The passenger was treated by a medical team after landing at the airport in Fortaleza and was released without showing symptoms. The airline also points out that it has already carried out a reinforcement of the aircraft’s fumigation and that it has strict procedures for cleaning and sanitising its aircraft. GOL Linhas Aereas regrets what happened and informs that it is in contact with the Client to offer all the necessary support.”

It is further reported that all passengers onboard the flight were advised not to open the overhead lockers until it was time to deplane. The airline says it has thoroughly fumigated the aircraft, and that others are being treated in the same manner.

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Stowaway scorpions can be a problem on flights

While finding a scorpion on a plane is not an everyday occurrence, it’s not the first time it’s happened. In December 2019, a scorpion tucked itself away on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Atlanta. The arachnid proceeded to crawl up the trousers of a female passenger, stinging her on the leg. When she visited the bathroom to investigate the source of the sting, the creature fell out of her trousers.

In February of the same year, a scorpion was filmed crawling out of the overhead lockers on a Lion Air flight. The 12 inch long arachnid was thought to be an Asian Forest scorpion, one of the most aggressive scorpions in Indonesia.

While scorpions are terrifying for anyone to encounter, most do not deliver life-threatening stings. According to the Mayo Clinic, the 1,500 species around the world, only 30 are capable of causing serious injuries.

Have you ever got up close and personal with a scorpion? What would you do if you found one on your flight?