News Article - May 26, 2010

  PHILADELPHIA - Falling asleep on a plane isn't that out of the ordinary, but waking up hours after everyone including the crew had deplaned? That actually happened to a passenger on an express flight from Washington, D.C., that landed just after midnight in Philadelphia. The cleaning crew found the woman still asleep in her seat around 4 a.m.. The Transportation Security Administration said it is investigating, but the main probe will be done by United to see how its staff overlooked the sleeping passenger. TSA said that is the airlines responsibility.

   Fox 29's Shawnette Wilson reported that passengers traveling through Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday were shocked to hear the woman's tale but said forget finger-pointing air safety is everyone's responsibility. "Man, that's definitely a security issue," said passenger Jagdish Dhobley. "It's an issue with the airlines because I believe there are unidentified cops on the airplane right now, and it's a joint effort of the airline and the security staff to take care of." "It's certainly a security issue," said Jim Joyce, another traveler. "They ought to sound some alarm or make some noise so people know to get off the airplane." The question travelers were asking was why didn't airplane staff wake the woman when 50 or so other passengers all got off, and did anyone do a final sweep of the plane?

   The airline said the woman was a ticketed passenger. She cleared security to be on the plane. Some said that's not the point. "Absolutely not," Dhobley said. " She is ticketed and an identified passenger only for that flight and not after that." Travelers also had some compassion for the obviously exhausted traveler who was left alone for hours. "You never know. I mean she could have stayed on there for hours and hours, and who knows what could have happened to her. She's like 'Lost.'" United told Fox 29 News it is working closely with its partner Trans States Airlines, which handles express flights, to do an investigate and remedy the situation with the customer.

Source - MyFox