Snoozing Passenger Locked in Plane

He found himself alone in dark aircraft
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2013 1:32 AM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2013 3:00 AM CST
Wagner woke up locked in a United Express jet like this one.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – A passenger who dozed off on a short flight from Lafayette, Louisiana, to Houston awoke Friday night to find himself alone in a cold, dark, locked aircraft. When the flight landed and everybody deplaned, workers somehow missed passenger Tom Wagner sleeping in a window seat. He was freed after he called his girlfriend, who contacted the airline. "She thought I was crazy. I said, 'Debbie I'm locked on the plane,'" he tells ABC15. "I said, 'I'm telling you the truth; you better go somewhere and get me off this plane.'"

United Express has apologized for Wagner's experience and said it plans to investigate how he was missed on a walk-through of the plane. "What if I had a medical condition or something? What if I had a heart attack and I was dead?" he asks. "You just shut the plane and leave someone on there?" He missed his connecting flight to California but he says the airline paid for a motel room, gave him a $250 voucher—and asked him to keep quiet. (Read more United Airlines stories.)

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