Scorpion flight Toronto

Scorpion stings passenger on Toronto to Calgary flight

Are you a Toronto resident who has lost their pet scorpion? Or a prankster who thinks creepy crawlies on planes are funny? Or someone who recently saw a wild scorpion crawl up into the bowels of a flight bound for Canada?

Air Transat would like to speak with you.

The scorpion in question was taken into custody after allegedly stinging someone during a flight from Toronto to Calgary on February 26. 

Alberta-based student Quin Maltais, originally from Yukon, told the CBC in Calgary this week that she felt a "fluttering motion" on her lower back during the final stretch of that fateful four-hour flight.

She ignored it until the plane, which had embarked from Toronto's Pearson International Airport, started to descend.

"As soon as the lights turned off again, closer to when we're literally about to land, I felt the piercing pain on my lower back," she said. "Like, oh, my God, something bit me."

Making matters worse, Maltais was unable to unfasten her seatbelt until the plane had fully landed. When she finally turned around to see what was causing the commotion, she was horrified.

"I looked behind me on the seat and then I saw movement and there was a scorpion that was in the fold toward the back of the chair," she told the CBC. "There was a scorpion in my sweater. It was on my back for the past 30 minutes."

Scorpions have been found aboard planes in the past, one of them only weeks ago in Indonesia. But a flight from cold Toronto to the sometimes even colder Calgary? Not so common.

An Air Transat flight attendant initially dismissed Maltais' complaints of a scorpion as a gum wrapper, until she saw the big bug between the seats of the plane with her own eyes.

Paramedics met Maltais at the airport around 10:30 p.m. and confirmed that she was fine, albeit quite panicked.

The scorpion was captured and handed over to "airport authorities," who were confused as anyone else about how a scorpion made it onto a Canadian flight.

"Although this is an extremely rare situation, it can unfortunately occur," said an Air Transat spokesperson in an emailed statement to CBC Calgary.

Good to know.

Lead photo by

Johan de Jong


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