An American Airlines’ baggage handler fell asleep in the cargo hold of a Boeing 737-800 and traveled from Kansas City to Chicago.
The unnamed 23-year-old worker is (was) an employee of Piedmont Airlines (an American regional subsidiary) at Kansas City International Airport. The incident occurred last Saturday, October 27th. American Airlines issued a statement confirming he “inadvertently fell asleep in the forward cargo hold of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.”
It’s fairly safe to travel in the cargo hold, but not very comfortable. Even so, the employee (let’s call him Otis) slept right through it. Upon reaching Chicago he was offered medical care, but declined it. Chicago Police were notified and verified the man was intoxicated. He admitted to police that he imbibed in a few too many the previous evening and passed out while loading cargo. Apparently he was working alone…
He returned to Kansas City on American, this time in the passenger cabin. He has been suspended pending further investigation. No criminal charges will be filed.
American, of course, is very quick to point out this was not technically an American Airlines employee, but a contractor:
The American team is very concerned about this serious situation, and we are reviewing what transpired with our Piedmont and Kansas City colleagues…
We are grateful that he did not sustain any injuries.
In other words: it wasn’t one of us! Small problem: AA owns Piedmont and this was a mainline employee.
I’m just glad Otis is okay. If this was not just a one-off incident after a late night of partying, I hope he gets the help he needs to ensure this does not happen again.
image: BriYYZ / Wikimeida Commons