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.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
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.