CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A baggage handler spent a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to northern Virginia locked inside the plane’s cargo hold Sunday afternoon.
At some point during United Express Flight 6060, authorities learned a man was locked in the baggage compartment, so Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue crews met the plane when it arrived at Dulles International Airport at 4:16 p.m.
The man appeared to be OK and refused medical treatment.
The man wore a Charlotte baggage handler’s uniform and had identification from baggage handling vendor G2 Secure Staff, but he said he left his airport ID in his locker at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, prompting a security concern. Police wanted to make sure the man really was a baggage handler and not a stowaway.
“We're going to work it as a security incident until we can get some confirmation that he is who is even though he's in trade dress for a ramp worker in Charlotte,” someone said on emergency dispatch. “The flight crew doesn't remember seeing him or anything like that.”
United Airlines confirmed the incident in a statement Monday.
“Once at the gate, an employee of the airline's ground handling vendor was found unharmed in the aircraft's cargo hold,” the statement said. “We are looking into what happened.”
Erin Benson, a spokesperson for United released a statement saying: "United Express flight 6060 operated by Mesa Airlines from Charlotte Douglas to Washington-Dulles (IAD) landed safely at IAD yesterday. Once at the gate, an employee of the airline's ground handling vendor was found unharmed in the aircraft's cargo hold. We are looking into what happened."
It’s unclear how the baggage handler became locked in the baggage compartment or how his presence there was discovered.