JFK Baggage Handler Falls Asleep, Ends Up In Boston

JetBlue worker winds up in plane's cargo hold

By JONATHAN DIENST
|  Friday, Apr 2, 2010  |  Updated 12:07 PM PDT
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JFK Baggage Handler Falls Asleep, Ends Up In Boston

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An airport official said the baggage handler was "tired" and fell asleep before the flight left JFK.

Instead of 40 winks, a JetBlue baggage handler got 200 miles when he apparently fell asleep amid the luggage in a plane's cargo hold.

Officials told NBCNewYork.com Monday that the worker was in the belly of the plane loading luggage for the flight that left JFK Airport around noon Saturday en route to Boston. That's when the worker seems to have fallen asleep. He later found himself in Beantown after the flight had landed at Logan International Airport.
 
A Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman confirmed the agency was notified of the incident but said the matter was referred to local police. A Massachusetts State Police spokesman referred all calls to JetBlue. A company spokesman said, "We are investigating the incident. We do not have further details to share at this time."

One official said it appears the baggage handler fell asleep inside the cargo hold, but added that investigators are looking into whether the worker was accidentally locked inside by co-workers. The official said it appears the worker was "tired" and fell asleep before the flight left JFK.

An FAA spokesman said the flight in question was JetBlue flight 1004. The preliminary report said the plane landed with an employee "stuck in the cargo bin." The official said the employee refused medical treatment at Logan and returned to New York.

An airport official identified the JetBlue worker as Sidney Nurse. The official said the stunned Logan workers who found Nurse asleep in the plane's belly called police. Nurse was taken into custody and questioned as a possible "stowaway," but was later released, the official said.

In another incident this weekend at JFK airport, a 60-year-old  British citizen  waiting for two hours on the tarmac onboard a Las Vegas bound Delta flight was arrested for openi ng the emergency exit door Sunday evening.  

The man, Robert McDonald, of Glasgow, Scotland, had been on the plane since it flew in from Rome and apparently wanted out,  according to a law enforcement source.  Instead he was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and criminal tampering.  He had opened the door but the crew stopped him before the plane's emergency chute was deployed.  
 

(Reporting by Jonathan Dienst)

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