Cargo loader naps, wakes up over Pacific

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A United Parcel Service cargo loader who snatched a quick nap during a work break at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Tuesday took an unscheduled trip to Asia.

The man ''apparently dozed off'' inside a double-decker 747 filled with packages bound for China and Korea, said Norman Black, national spokesman for UPS in Atlanta. The employee made himself known to the crew when the plane was so far into its journey that returning to Anchorage was not a desirable option.

''It wasn't like he was ten minutes away and the pilot could just turn around,'' Black told the Anchorage Daily News.

''The plane was out over the Pacific Ocean, well on its way to Hong Kong. ... I imagine it probably gave our pilots something of a start.''

The crew alerted UPS officials who got busy trying to explain to government representatives in Hong Kong and at Inchon Airport in Korea why their plane would be landing with an unregistered, undocumented, unsanctioned person aboard.

Governments are understandably touchy about stuff like that, Black said.

Everybody agreed that no one would have an official fit if the sleeper stayed on board the plane during the relatively brief layovers at each stop, he said.

The sleeper was due back Wednesday.

''Our human resources and security people are scheduled to sit down and talk with him,'' Black said.

Is the sleeper in trouble?

''We honestly don't know what we're going to do. As a company, we don't make snap decisions.'' Black said. ''We're glad that our employee is safe and sound. Now that he's safe and everything is OK, we want to hear directly from him how this happened.''

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