A Louisiana man who feel asleep during a flight and awoke Friday night in Houston inside a locked, empty airplane insists he's not an unusually deep sleeper.
"No, I'm really not," Tom Wagner said in an interview with CNN Monday. "I just sleep, you know? And I get a lot of questions like, well, 'Didn't you feel when you landed?' ... I work for the oil field industry, and sleeping like bouncing around is kind of the norm."
Wagner, who had fallen asleep in a window seat near the back of the United ExpressJet plane, described the moment he realized he was left behind.
"I woke up and I happened to look up and the lights were out," he said. "I was like, 'Well, what's going on here?' And then I looked down the aisles and nobody was there."
Wagner then called his girlfriend, who laughed and didn't believe him.
"Debbie, you gotta call the airlines," Wagner said, recalling the conversation. "I'm locked in the plane."
Maintenance workers eventually arrived and opened the door about a half hour later.
"They were like, 'Who are you? What are you doing on this plane?' I said, 'Dude, I was a passenger on the plane.' ... and then [they] said, 'Where's your badge?' I said, 'I don't work here.'"
The airline said it is trying to figure out how Wagner was missed during a routine sweep of the plane by the flight crew.
"ExpressJet is investigating to determine how this occurred," the carrier said in a statement. "We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused for the passenger."
Wagner was given a free hotel room and a $250 voucher by United for his trouble.