A baggage handler was locked inside an airplane’s cargo area during a 1.5-hour flight from North Carolina to Northern Virginia on Sunday.
A United Airlines spokeswoman said Monday that the airline was looking into how it had happened. The baggage handler, Reginald Gaskin, 45, was unharmed.
Reached by The Washington Post on Monday night, Gaskin declined to discuss how he wound up inside the plane. He said he had been advised by an attorney not to discuss the matter.
Gaskin only said: “I thank God. He was with me.”
United Express Flight 6060, operated by Mesa Airlines, took off from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport just before 3 p.m. Sunday and landed at Washington Dulles International Airport on schedule about 90 minutes later.
The plane, a 50-seat Embraer 170, rose to 27,000 feet, according to flight records. A United spokeswoman could not say Monday whether the plane’s cargo hold was temperature controlled or pressurized.
At some point, workers in Charlotte realized there was a possibility that Gaskin was locked in the belly of the airplane and contacted the Federal Aviation Administration. They alerted officials at Dulles, according to airport officials there.
Emergency responders at Dulles were waiting at the gate.
Authorities in Charlotte termed the incident a “public accident,” and a representative for the FBI in Washington said the agency was notified but was not involved in the investigation into the incident.
Gaskin is an employee of G2 Secure Staff, a United vendor based in Texas that supplies baggage handling services, airline officials said.
A company representative did not respond to a message or email Monday evening.