Crew members chased the scorpion and captured it [Photo: Getty Images/Cultura RF]

A plane passenger had the shock of her life when she was bitten by a scorpion during a flight.

The woman was stunned when she went to the bathroom after experiencing a stinging sensation while flying from San Francisco to Atlanta.

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A scorpion fell from her trousers and scuttled away, according to reports.

United Airlines has confirmed the incident happened, and said the passenger was taken to hospital.

It is not known how badly she was injured.

The woman was on a United Airlines flight when it happened [Photo: Getty Images]

In a statement United Airlines said: "After learning that one of our customers on flight 1554 from San Francisco to Atlanta was stung during flight, our crew responded immediately and consulted with a MedLink physician on the ground who provided medical guidance.

"Upon landing in Atlanta, the flight was met by medical personnel and the customer was transported to a local hospital."

The statement continued: "We have been in contact with our customer to ensure her wellbeing."

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A picture shared by US news site TMZ shows a large scorpion in a United box.

The site reports that the scorpion was captured by crew members.

It is not known how it came to be on the plane before the incident on Thursday morning.