Ellis quickly grabbed the arachnid with a napkin and showed it to his girlfriend.
"At first I didn't believe him," said Suzanne Foster. "But then I saw it. He held the napkin up for me to see and I saw the tail, wiggling. I pretty much jumped out of my seat."
Foster called the flight attendant over as Ellis noticed his elbow burning.
He said it felt like he'd been stung by a bee.
Two doctors on board checked him out while the flight crew called for medics to meet the plane at the airport in Anchorage.
Foster kept her feet on the seat for the rest of the flight, refusing to put them on the ground.
"Never in a million years, would I have thought a scorpion would have been on an Alaska Airlines flight headed to Alaska," said Ellis.
The flight originated from Austin, TX, where Alaska Airlines officials believe the scorpion got on board.
Based on photos he took of the arachnid, Ellis believes he was stung by a striped bark scorpion common in Texas.
"He got stung because he threatened it," said Marshall Brooks, the assistant manager at House of Reptiles in Tigard. Marshall has worked with scorpions for several years at the store. "Had he used something else to get it off with or just calmly tried to move it onto something else, it probably wouldn't have stung him."
Brooks said bark scorpions are more venomous than emperor scorpions, which are the type commonly kept as pets. He said most people will experience minor pain from a bark scorpion unless they are allergic, in which case the sting might cause anaphylactic shock.
An Alaska Airlines spokeswoman said the airline has never had a poisonous creature like the scorpion on one of their flights before.
Ellis said he's been offered 4,000 frequent flier miles and two round-trip tickets to wherever the airline flies.
He is pleased with how the flight crew and the airline handled the situation.
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