Growth Strategies

How One Traveler Woke Up in the Dark and Trapped Alone Inside an Airplane

How One Traveler Woke Up in the Dark and Trapped Alone Inside an Airplane
Image credit: firstcoastnews.com
Tom Wagner
Entrepreneur Staff
Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio
2 min read

It's not exactly Snakes on a Plane but, for some, could be just as scary -- especially for frequent business travelers.

A Louisiana man named Tom Wagner was flying to California recently to visit his sister. The plane had a layover in Houston so Wagner took off his hat, got comfortable in his window seat and decided to take a little nap.

Sounds reasonable. But when Wagner woke up, the airplane cabin was completely dark. He was alone. All the cabin doors were locked.

No, Wagner wasn't having a nightmare. The crew from his ExpressJet flight had cleaned and locked up with Wagner still asleep on the plane.

In a panic, Wagner used his cellphone to call his girlfriend. About 30 minutes later airline workers opened the door and let him out.

Related: American Airlines CEO: Fares Won't Rise if Demand Holds Steady

"ExpressJet is investigating to determine how this occurred. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused for the passenger," the carrier said in a written statement to CNN. ExpressJet is a partner with United. 

United put Wagner up in a hotel for the night and gave him a $250 voucher for his flight to California the following day. But how the flight crew could do its usual post-flight cabin inspection and leave a passenger on board is pretty nightmarish.

Below, watch the CNN video of Wagner explaining his ordeal:

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