In a statement posted to its blog, Alaska Airlines said that Flight 448, traveling from Seattle to Los Angeles, returned to Seattle-Tacoma International after being in the air for just 14 minutes. Alaska Airlines said “immediately after takeoff” the pilot “reported hearing banging from beneath the aircraft.”
The blog post continued: “After landing, a ramp agent was found inside the front cargo hold, which is pressurized and temperature controlled. The ramp agent appeared OK, and was transported to the hospital as a precaution. We are actively investigating the matter.”
In an update to that post, Alaska Airlines said the ramp agent was an employee of Menzies Aviation. The airline also said the worker, “upon exiting … told authorities he had fallen asleep.” The agent was able to walk off the plane and into a waiting ambulance.