Another Sleeping Passenger Left Behind

A British school teacher was left sleeping on an Air Canada long haul flight between London and Vancouver. Kris Lines was woken by an engineer and discovered himself sitting in a bare hanger, an hour and a half after the plane had landed.

After complaining to the airline, Lines received an email asking for forgiveness and offering him 20% off any subsequent flight.

Now 36 year old Ginger McGuire, a Michigan woman, is prosecuting United Airlines for locking her into an aircraft, after the United Express Flight 8080 from Washington DC to Philadelphia, which landed after midnight.

Before a cleaner discovered McGuire, she claims she was locked-in, sleeping in the plane for four hours after it had landed. The cleaner promptly relocked the aircraft and alerted Transportation Security Administration.

Questioned by the agents, who were concerned about terrorism, McGuire claims she was 'wrongfully detained and interrogated'.

McGuire is seeking between $25,000 and $75,000 damages for breach of contract, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress. "Waking up on an empty airplane and not being able to get out was very horrifying."

"We are working closely with our partner Trans States Airlines to investigate the cause and remedy the situation with the customer," said a spokeswoman for the airline, Fred Oxley. "Our procedures would call for the flight attendant before leaving the aircraft to do a sweep of the aircraft to ensure that there are no passengers left on. So our focus is certainly on whether or not that procedure was accomplished in this case."

"If my client, a completely unassuming person who was just exhausted ... and falls asleep, could go undetected, what if somebody is really trying to go undetected?" said Harrington, an attorney working with Fieger on the case. The incident highlights a major safety issue.

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