Alaska Ramper Falls Asleep in Cargo Hold — Ouch!

Filed Under: Alaska

Via Alaska Airlines’ blog, a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles returned to Seattle shortly after takeoff due to a banging noise in the cargo hold:

Flight 448, bound for Los Angeles, returned to Seattle shortly after departure today after it was discovered that a ramp agent was still in the cargo hold. The aircraft was in the air for 14 minutes.

After landing, the agent, an employee of Menzies Aviation, walked off the aircraft from the front cargo hold, which is pressurized and temperature controlled. Upon exiting, he told authorities he had fallen asleep. The agent was transported to a local hospital as a precaution. We are actively investigating this matter.

The good news is that the cargo hold was pressurized and temperature controlled, so aside from not being buckled in, the ramper probably wasn’t in too much danger. The bad news is that this was probably the most expensive nap the ramp agent ever took.


But seriously, how do you fall asleep in a cargo hold?!

I’m very curious to see what comes of Alaska’s investigation of this. I can’t even imagine how terrifying it must be to wake up in a locked cargo hold. That’s sort of as scary as waking up in a casket or something.

  1. If Alaska has a creative as agency they’ll do an ad campaign for how comfortable their lie flat seats are and use this guy as poster boy.

  2. Falling asleep on the job and disrupting a flight – I imagine this is plenty grounds for dismissal.

  3. ummmm sounds strange to me.

    1.How did he fall asleep loading things into an Airplane.

    2.He should not have decided to have a sleep while working.

    3.Should he be fired here ?

  4. “How did he sleep?”

    If I had to guess, the worker has multiple jobs, and doesn’t sleep much, and some point extreme exhaustion kicks in. Unfortunately, this is probably grounds for dismissal.

  5. Putting the question of how he fell asleep aside. I find it a little odd that his banging of the cargo hold can be heard from the cabin. Even strangely, it was recognized as a legitimate reason for diversion

  6. I think it’s incredible that the flight is only supposed to be an hour and 21 minutes late!

    Sadly, I think a pink slip is on the way…

  7. @Drew, wouldn’t that be an interesting new twist to the Battle for Seattle: “Delta hires disgraced Alaska ramper…and gives him a raise!”

  8. As a former ramper this is not uncommon. After loading carts of bags we are still waiting in the bin for connecting bags and last minute bags (because who on here checks in on time) before the jetway pulls off. Lots of times it is warmer/out of the elements in the bin while you wait. Someone probably didn’t check the bin before closing the door. I would think both parties will still have their jobs. Not that it has ever happened to me, but this happens more than is reported, especially in the heat of the summer, or in this case rainy SEA.

  9. Also, you can hear the banging because the floor is super thin. It kind of looks like a slice of corrugated card board, strong but thin. If there isn’t much noise from the APU or on the ramp one can hear people talking in the cabin from the cargo hold and you can probably hear rampers yelling at each other if you listen. Give the person a break. Loading and stacking heavy bags is hard work and tiring. It is easy to fall asleep…or go with the NA attitude..”string him up and fire their a**, no questions asked!”

  10. I am at the Alaska Boardroom in Seattle now. I asked the concierge desk if I could get my first class upgraded to the Alaska Suite. They are all taking it in stride here!

  11. Hey Ben, you are the mileage expert. How many miles does he get for that trip? After all, he got a suite much bigger than the ones in Emirates etc šŸ˜‰

  12. Yesterday while enjoying a cigarette in the smoking section, outside of SEA-TAC I enjoyed the conversation of my fellow smokers which were a mix of TSA agents and Menzies aviation employees. While I went through security and worked my way to board my flight my mind kept wandering to the incredible conversations i overheard between my fellow smokers. And an incredible sense of confidence of my personal security overwhelmed me.

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