Falling asleep on the job – and waking up in a different city

Getting caught falling asleep on the job is always an awkward situation.  It is made that much worse when the job involves working for an airline and you wake up to find that you’re on a plane, in the cargo hold, and you have no way to get out until the flight lands.  Just such an incident happened late last week when a jetBlue employee found himself locked in the cargo compartment for a flight from New York’s JFK to Boston.

The employee apparently realized that he was no longer on the ground and called the company’s operations center to report that he was on the plane.  Upon arrival he was discovered by baggage handlers in Boston who called the police.  He wasn’t arrested but it sure is an interesting set of circumstances that would lead to one being on a plane, in the cargo hold, but not noticing that the door was closed and that the plane was taxiing, much less taking off.  The good news is that the cargo hold is pressurized (most are these days) so we aren’t reading a story about a guy dying.  And there is no confirmed evidence that he was asleep, but I cannot come up with any other reasonable explanation for how it happened.

Personally, if I were looking for a place to sleep on a plane I’d go for the overhead bins, not the cargo hold, but to each his own.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.