Interview With The Baggage Handler Who Fell Asleep In Cargo Hold

Filed Under: Alaska, Media

Remember that crazy story from early last week about the baggage handler who fell asleep in the cargo hold on an Alaska 737 flying from Seattle to Los Angeles, and only woke up once the plane had taken off? Fortunately the plane returned to Seattle after 14 minutes in the air, and he wasn’t injured.

I think it’s safe to say everyone was sort of blown away by the story, and curious to hear the ramper’s perspective.

Well, as luck would have it, ABC News had an interview with the ramper, Willa Junior. Here’s the video clip:

So, was he fired? Per the article:

At this point, Junior is still employed as a ramp agent with Menzies Aviation, which contracts with airlines to handle baggage. But Alaska Airlines permanently banned him from working on the airline’s flights.

His employer hasn’t fired him, but his employer’s biggest client is no longer letting him work their flights. I’m curious to hear how that ends.

Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt… and what a story!

  1. Good for him for being honest and all. But, wouldn’t you say that you passed out?

    Fainting is a common problem, accounting for 3% of emergency room visits and 6% of hospital admissions. It can happen in otherwise healthy people.

    My understanding is that in many cases the fainting is idiopathic. So, if you were to say you passed out, the most a doctor could say is – “Yes, that happens fairly often and for unknown reasons.”

  2. “His employer hasn’t fired him, but his employer’s biggest client is no longer letting him work their flights. I’m curious to hear how that ends.”

    It will end in him getting fired as soon as this story blows over in terms of national media attention. He should’ve been fired on the spot unless he suffers from some medical condition that makes random, sudden naps a strong possibility–and even in that case, he should clearly be re-assigned to something that is not time sensitive work…

  3. @ Justin — Interesting. Do you think the public has sympathy for him/his story?

    If anything I can see an ambulance chasing lawyer partner with him to sue his employer for not having proper safety checks in place, or something.

  4. Two of the more unusual places I’ve taken naps on the job were a power transformer vault (it was warm and the humming of the transformers will put you to sleep) and a road case. Both were done OFF the clock. I have a feeling Willa(?) was probably on-the-clock when this occurred.

    @Nick L. I was trying to figure out what exactly that is on his head. I was wondering if it might have possibly been an octopus.

  5. He should have just quietly taken the free trip and gone AWOL from work instead of costing a couple hundred people each a couple hours of time.

  6. I used to work ramp for a major airline – it is exhausting work and I find it easy to believe that someone could fall asleep in the bin, especially at the end of a shift – why didn’t any of his colleagues, like a supervisor, not notice he was still in there?! I would find them equally culpable

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