The local NBC affiliate in the Washington, D.C. area has a story about an airline baggage handler who carried "hands on" to an extreme.
Right now most readers are expecting a story that’s either about subduing drunken passengers in the cabin, a pet that escaped to the runway and was tasered or a rant about crowded aircraft interiors and the extremes passengers go to in an effort to achieve even a modicum of comfort.
Some of you may have even wondered if you’d have more room to stretch out if you declared yourself to be baggage and flew in the freight compartment.
Well, there’s a baggage handler for United Airlines who can answer all your questions.
When United Express flight 6060 landed at Dulles Airport, after leaving Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday, the Dulles baggage-handling crew discovered one of their kindred inside the cargo hold along with the rest of the checked bags.
The man spent the entire one hour and 22 minute flight in the hold keeping a close eye on the baggage, if not the cargo door. Or, he could have been getting some shuteye, since the flight departed at 2:54 a.m. and those wee hours are notorious for the temptation to sleep.
Reginald Gaskin’s impromptu journey took him to an altitude of 27,000 feet, but fortunately for him the cargo hold is both pressurized and temperature controlled.
Dulles authorities were alerted to his misadventure when the ramp servicing company contacted the tower to tell security they were one short when the roll was called.
A delegation of security and medical professionals met Gaskin as he climbed out of the hold, but he refused all medical help. He declined to tell a Washington Post reporter how he made the flight, but did comment, "I thank God. He was with me."
Gaskin is not an employee of United, but instead works for G2 Secure Staff. He was wearing his uniform and had some company identification, but said his personal identification was back in his Charlotte airport locker.
This is of concern to airport authorities for two reasons. First is the security question. The TSA and the FAA don’t want just anyone sleeping with your bags as the cargo flies through the air.
The individual must be approved.
And the airline was concerned because if he wasn’t an employee of the baggage-handling company and was in fact a stowaway, then United would certainly want to bill him for the flight, with maybe an upcharge for all the extra legroom.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.