Airline Worker Takes Nap, Then 'Slips Through the Cracks'

Intoxicated baggage handler fell asleep in American Airlines cargo hold
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2018 8:10 AM CDT
He Took Nap in Kansas City, Didn't Wake Up There
The worker probably won't be taking naps on the job again anytime soon.   (Getty Images/

United Airlines was plagued with canine passenger problems earlier this year. This time it's American that's making headlines, and it involves a human—an apparently drunk one. USA Today reports on a baggage handler said to be in his mid-20s who had an interesting flight on board a Boeing 737 flying from Kansas City to Chicago after he fell asleep early Saturday in the plane's cargo hold. It didn't catch anyone's eye that he'd disappeared from the airport ramp; he was found when the plane touched down at O'Hare around 7:30am, and he got to have a sit-down with the FBI, Chicago cops, and the US Attorney's Office. He admitted to authorities he'd been drinking the night before; police say he was still intoxicated when he went to work, per CBS Chicago.

The airline reports the worker wasn't hurt and that the cargo hold was pressurized and had heat. "We are grateful that he did not sustain any injuries," an airline rep says in a statement. An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professor tells USA Today that baggage handling can be an exhausting job, and that naps in between lugging luggage aren't uncommon. Supervisors are supposed to keep tabs on workers after they load or unload planes, but "sometimes they slip through the cracks," he adds. Although this worker has been suspended from his duties, he wasn't charged by police, and he made his way back to Kansas City on another flight—this time, presumably, in the plane's cabin. (A German shepherd meant to go to Kansas ended up in Japan on a United flight.)

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