Man falls asleep on plane, gets locked inside

Sunday, December 8, 2013 - 7:26am

A trip from Louisiana to California took a bizarre turn, during a connection in Houston. A man says he fell asleep on a plane filled with passengers, but when he woke up, he was all alone, locked inside, Foti Kallergis spoke to the man about his ordeal.

Tom Wagner, passenger, "That's not good that you could just be stuck on a plane."

Trapped onboard a United Express jet, at the nation's 5th biggest airport, "I woke up and the lights were out. I was like what's going on."

Tom Wagner was frantic, he spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News and he said the last he remembered, he took off his hat after boarding the flight in Lafayette and dozed off in his window seat near the back of the airplane.

Tom Wagner, "Everybody falls asleep on the plane."

Once in Houston, no one bothered to wake Wagner up, not a passenger, not a flight attendant or pilot, no one, so Wagner slept, "They didn't sweep the plane. I mean who shut the door."

He said he woke up to a cold, pitch black cabin, thought he was dreaming, when he made a frantic call to his girlfriend, she thought he was joking.

About a half hour later, workers boarded the aircraft and were stunned to find the lone passenger.

Tom Wagner, "I said don't put the blame on me. I didn't do anything wrong here. And then they were like try to hush-hush keep it quiet."

Express Jet issued this statement to Eyewitness News saying, "Express Jet is investigating to determine how this occurred, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused the passenger."

James Conway, Global Intel Strategies, Inc., "Let this be a lesson. It was incident enough. It was a faux paux."

James Conway is a former FBI agent and counter terrorism expert.

He says the incident is alarming, "If an individual is going to be missed, what about a package of a backpack or piece of luggage that could pose a threat to the aircraft on the next flight."

Wagner says he did not get a refund for his flight, but that the airline put him up in a hotel and gave him a $250 voucher.

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