Passenger Stays Locked In Plane After Landing, Lawsuit Ensues

Travel News — By Jules Auger on May 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Several factors often come together to make the transit from home to whichever exotic destination travelers select smooth and forgettable. One such factor is sleep – falling asleep in your seat before liftoff and being roused by the plane making its descent is one of the greatest accomplishments known to frequent voyagers, and rubbing the sleep out of your eyes as you wait for your bag to join you really tops off a traveling experience.

What Michigan-native Ginger McGuire did not expect when she dozed off on United Express Flight 8080, however, was to wake up to a dark, empty plane and a locked exit door. She has filed a lawsuit against both United Airlines and a partner airline.

United and Trans State Airlines, the carrier operating the flight at the time of the incident, are both investigating the incident to ensure that McGuire’s allegations are genuine. Trans State spokesman Fred Oxley stated that he believed the incident did in fact happen, and that a thorough investigation is currently underway, with a court date set for the near future.

McGuire’s comments point to a very traumatic experience – she went on to state in a news conference that “waking up on an empty airplane and not being able to get out was very horrifying. It’s a very dramatic word, but it was a little much.” After being found by a cleaning crew four hours after waking up, she was not slow to acquire an attorney ready to defend her in a court of law. The victim is said to be seeking anywhere between $25-75,000, and her suit alleges not only negligence, breach of contract, and infliction of emotional distress, but even lumps in false imprisonment.

McGuire’s attorney, James Harrington, brings a powerful point to the drawing board:¬†“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?”

As of now, the lawsuit remains pending as both her attorney and the attorney defending the airline prepare their evidence and statements.

[Image: Miami Herald]

Tags: airlines, ginger, locked, mcguire, plane, sleeping, state, trans, United

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