Every time I board a plane I cannot help but think, “There is no way in hell you could pay me enough to crawl my fat ass into the belly of a beast about to cruise at 35,000 feet.” The job must be done, however, which means someone has to find themselves in what must feel like equivalent of a flying coffin.
My worst fears were proven plausible yesterday when an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to return to the airport for an emergency landing after screams were heard from the cargo hold. I’m no pilot, but people fly in the cabin, and any noise from suspected unoccupied areas of the plane should be a cause for great concern.
From Seattle Times:
The agent, who was not injured, told officials he had fallen asleep in the cargo hold before takeoff and awoke when the plane was in the air, the airline reported.
The pilot of Alaska Airlines Flight 448, bound for Los Angeles, reported hearing noises from beneath the aircraft within 14 minutes of taking off Monday afternoon, Alaska Airlines said in a statement. The flight duration, including takeoff and landing, was 22 minutes.
The captain declared an emergency for priority landing and returned to Sea-Tac.
The chills are real with this one. He wasn’t a stowaway purposely risking his life for the sake of traveling far distances, the poor bastard literally passed out in the belly of the plane and nearly paid for it with his life.
Authorities stated that his coworkers knew he had been in the compartment before take-off, but due to his shift ending, they figured he had simply left the job despite their inability to get in touch with the snoozing agent. Instead of waiting for confirmation of his departure from the airport, they sealed up the belly of that bitch and sent him off using a much more risky method. Incompetence at its finest.
“The ramp agent appeared OK, and was taken to the hospital as a precaution,” the airline said. “We are actively investigating the matter.”
Despite enduring the most horrifying 22 minutes of his life and losing all trust in his colleagues, the agent somehow emerged unscathed..
[via Seattle Times]
Image via Wikimedia