Air Transat Airlines
In this representative photo, an Airbus A330 Air Transat flies in Blagnac, southwestern France, July 10, 2018. Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images

An Air Transat flight passenger flying from Toronto to Calgary, Canada, was stung by a scorpion on the plane.

Quin Maltais, from Yukon, recently opened up about the experience that occurred during the last hour of a four-hour flight on Feb. 26, in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Maltais said she initially started feeling a fluttering motion on her lower back but ignored it thinking it was caused by the cool air coming from the air conditioning system on the plane.

However, soon the horrific reality became apparent. "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, like, oh, my God, something bit me,” she said.

Although the pain seared through her body, she couldn't discover its source because she could not unbuckle her seat belt. Hence, she grabbed her sweater and waited for the lights to be turned on. "The lights turned on, I looked into the ball of bundled sweater that I had but nothing was there. 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 said.

Wondering what a scorpion was doing on the flight, she said she wasted no time in ripping off the seat belt and jumping on the armrest. “There was a scorpion in my sweater. It was on my back for the past 30 minutes … it was like four inches [about 10 cm], maybe," she said.

When Maltais reached out to one of the flight attendants telling her she was bitten by a scorpion, she said the attendant did not believe her. The crew member initially went up to Maltais’ seat and came back with a gum wrapper, telling her she had mistaken the wrapper for the deadly creature. However, Maltais did not get convinced, requesting her to check again. The second time around, the attendant checked more thoroughly and spotted the scorpion sitting between two seats.

The emergency medical services were waiting at the airport as the plane landed and paramedics escorted Maltais out of aircraft and a physical assessment determined that she was not hurt. "I had a full-fledged panic attack … paramedics had to kind of keep me strapped to a heart monitor for a while cause I was just unable to calm down," she said.

An Air Transat spokesperson issued the following statement to CBC regarding the incident: "Although this is an extremely rare situation, it can unfortunately occur. Our teams followed the protocols in place and a complete inspection of the aircraft, as well as an extermination process, were carried.”

The scorpion in question was caught and handed over to the authorities after all passengers disembarked from the plane.

Maltais concluded that although the experience was less than pleasant, she did not plan to forego air travel altogether in the future. "Not so keen to go on a plane for a while, but definitely will not stop travelling. I definitely will check under my seat,” she said.

In February, a 12-inch scorpion crawled out from the baggage shelf on a Lion Air flight, sparking panic among the rest of the people onboard. “When the plane had landed, one passenger was taking their things out of the compartment, that's when suddenly the scorpion appeared above our seat. I was in row 19 with two other passengers, an elderly married couple. When we saw the scorpion above our heads we rushed out as fast as we could,” passenger Karim Taslin, who recorded a video of the incident, said.