A Michigan woman who fell asleep on a Philadelphia-bound flight and awoke to find herself trapped in the cabin more than three hours after it landed sued the airline Thursday, alleging false imprisonment.
Ginger McGuire, 36, boarded a Trans States shuttle Monday night at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. During the one-hour journey she fell asleep. The aircraft landed about 12:30 a.m. at Philadelphia International Airport, but McGuire said the flight crew hadn't bothered to rouse her. She awoke at 4 a.m., alone on the 50-seat plane with all the doors locked, she said. "Waking up to an empty airplane and not being able to get out was very horrifying," McGuire told WDIV-TV in Detroit.
McGuire, who works for a Michigan radio station, told the Detroit News that she had walked the aisle for 15 minutes. Though she used her phone to check the time, she said didn't think of calling for help, she said. Minutes later, the plane's door opened. She was greeted by a Transportation Security Administration officer and two Philadelphia police officers who questioned her for about 10 minutes.
Back in Michigan on Thursday, McGuire held a news conference with her attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, to announce she was suing Trans State Airlines, which operates commuter flights for United Airlines under the United Express banner. The suit alleges false imprisonment, negligence, emotional distress and breach of contract.
"For a crew of United Airlines and Trans State Airlines to leave her there and lock her in a plane is beyond unacceptable, beyond a gross abuse," Fieger told WDIV.