United Airlines passenger Richard Bell was involved in another high-profile conflict on one of its domestic flights this week, but fortunately came out the victor. Bell was stung by a stowaway scorpion on the flight from Houston, Texas, after it fell on him.

Bell was travelling to Canadian city Calgary with his wife Linda when the scorpion fell on his head, he told CBC.

Bell picked the scorpion out of his hair, which was then identified by the man sitting next to him.

He said: "Something fell on my head so I grabbed it. I was hanging on to it and then I realised what it was.

"My neighbour was a gentleman from Mexico and he said, 'That's a scorpion, they're dangerous.' I dropped it on my tray and I went to grab it again and that's when I got stung.

"It stung me on the thumb, right next to my nail."

After something of a commotion, Bell said the intruder was trapped under a cup before meeting an untimely end after being beaten by a shoe. Its remains were then flushed down the toilet.

Though Bell praised the response of the United Airlines crew, who he said were "fantastic" the events came a week in which there was little praise to be found for United Airlines. On the same day, last Sunday, Dr David Dao was violently dragged off a United Airlines aeroplane in Chicago, after refusing to give up his seat on an overbooked flight.

In a video that later emerged, Dr Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American was seen with a bloodied face after the incident caused him to lose two front teeth and suffer a broken nose from the heavy-handed treatment of Chicago Aviation Department staff. Dao also suffered concussion after hitting his face on chair handles as he was forcibly removed.

The airline's reaction was met with a mixture of hilarity and horror as the news came to light on Tuesday, after United Airlines chief executive Oscar Munoz referred to the incident as "re-accommodating" Dr Dao. In an email to staff, Munoz later referred to Dao as "disruptive and belligerent".

The fallout continued for United as it's share value plummeted by 6% at one point, and Munoz made a public apology. Calling the incident "truly horrific" he said the airline took full responsibility.

CBC reported that unlike Dr Dao, Bell had no plans to take any legal action against the airline, which apparently offered flying credit to the couple by way of compensation.

Scorpion
Richard Bell had a surprise when a scorpion fell on his head during a United Airlines flightWikipedia