Mix-Up on Ramp Leaves Airport Worker Locked inside Cargo Hold

Man was flown from Milwaukee to Philadelphia after coworkers accidentally locked him inside the cargo area


MILWAUKEE -- An airport worker loading baggage in Milwaukee got locked inside the cargo hold of an airplane that flew to Philadelphia.

The worker was "a little stressed" but uninjured after the unscheduled flight, a spokeswoman for Midwest Airlines said Friday. The cargo hold was heated and pressurized.

The man was stowing a wheelchair aboard the plane when other employees closed the cargo door because they did not see him, airline spokeswoman Carol Skornicka said.

"He knew where it was going," she said. "He tried to get somebody's attention, but it didn't work. When it landed, he jumped out of the airplane and asked for a cigarette."

He later flew back to Milwaukee - in the passenger compartment.

"He wanted to finish his shift," Skornicka said. "We told him he should go home and rest."

She said the airline would review its procedures.