Drunken American Airlines Baggage Handler Falls Asleep in Cargo Bay, Wakes up in Chicago

No charges were filed after the worker was found lying in the belly of the Boeing 737.

American Airlines, Boeing 737
Larry MacDougal—ASSOCIATED PRESS

A baggage handler fell asleep in the cargo hold of an American Airlines Boeing 737 during a Saturday flight from Kansas City to Chicago, police confirm. The unnamed employee told officers he was drunk at the time, which he claims caused his drowsiness and resulting joyride. 

The Piedmont Airlines employee was working on American Flight 363, according to a report from the Associated Press. Despite the extraordinary mishap, no one noticed he was missing after the aircraft took off at 5:52 a.m. local time. 

Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police spokesman, said the employee was found when the flight landed at Chicago's O'Hare airport. The airline worker then confessed to his drunkenness, per Guglielmi's statement. 

No charges were filed against the man after being investigated by the Chicago Police Department, FBI, and U.S. Attorney's Office—standard procedure for airline security incidents. The handler was then sent back to Kansas City. 

American Airlines said that it's grateful the man wasn't injured and it will be reviewing the incident to make further decisions. The drunken baggage handler's name has not been released.

This isn't the first close call for American Airlines employees in the past year. In June, a van being driven through a Miami International Airport parking garage fell more than 50 feet after driving through a wall; luckily, the driver survived.

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