December 9th, 2013
04:45 AM ET

Man Wakes Up Locked Inside Airliner

Tom Wagner woke up Friday night and the plane cabin was dark. And empty. Completely empty.

He looked around from his window seat near the back of the jet and wondered, "What is going on?"

He tried the jet door. It was locked.

Wagner told  "New Day" Monday that he called his girlfriend, and she thought he was kidding, or crazy.

"She started laughing. I says, I'm serious." Wagner said.

Eventually, she called United Airlines and about 30 minutes later, the door opened up.

Well, he must have been very, very tired, because as the three dozen other passengers deplaned after a one-hour flight, he dozed.

As the flight crew left the plane, he slept.

"What if I had a medical condition or something? What if I had a heart attack and I was dead? You just shut the plane and leave someone on there? It's the way I look at it," Wagner said.

Wagner stayed in a hotel room, on the airline, before flying to California the next day. He said United gave him a $250 voucher.

The flight was operated by ExpressJet, a United partner.

"ExpressJet is investigating to determine how this occurred. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused for the passenger," the carrier said Saturday in a written statement to CNN.

ExpressJet told affiliate KTRK there was a post-flight cabin inspection, but the company couldn't explain how Wagner was overlooked.

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