This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A drunk baggage handler for American Airlines subsidiary carrier Piedmont Airlines was an accidental stowaway on a flight to Chicago after he took a nap in the plane’s cargo hold.

The worker was loading bags onto flight AA 363 at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) on Saturday Oct. 27. He was working the luggage ramp when he decided to sneak into the cargo hold of the Boeing 737-800 for a nap.

No one noticed that the unidentified man was missing from his work post — or that he was in the belly of the aircraft — because the plane took off with the employee still in the cargo hold at 5:52am local time. He wasn’t discovered until after the hour-long flight, when the plane parked at its gate at O’Hare (ORD) at about 7:30am local time.

USA Today reports that the man was interviewed by the Chicago Police Department, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office — a normal procedure in aviation security incidents. Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told USA Today that the man told law enforcement he was drunk and accidentally fell asleep in the plane’s cargo hold. The man wasn’t charged with a crime, and he was flown back to MCI on another American flight.

“Our top priority is ensuring the well-being of the Piedmont employee,” an American representative told TPG in an email. “He did not request any medical attention upon arrival in Chicago, and we are grateful that he did not sustain any injuries,” the spokesperson continued, noting that the hold was pressurized and heated. “The American team is very concerned about this serious situation, and we are reviewing what transpired with our Piedmont and Kansas City colleagues.”

Baggage handlers falling asleep in the cargo hold is not an uncommon occurrence. A baggage handler for a United Express plane was stuck in the cargo hold on a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT) to Washington Dulles (IAD). And pilots turned around an Alaska flight in 2015 after both passengers and crew heard a trapped baggage handler banging on the cargo hold ceiling. Most accidental stowaways go unharmed because aircraft cargo holds are heated and pressurized.

Featured image by American Airlines Group.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.