April 12, 2010— -- When Kris Lines woke up after a recent Air Canada flight, he found himself on an empty plane inside a giant hangar.
It was not exactly the way the British law professor expected to arrive in Vancouver. But after drinking large amounts of Coca-Cola to stay awake on his flight from London to Calgary, Lines thought he could take a little nap for the 90-minute flight to Vancouver.
"I was just so dead to the world. I didn't think that I needed to set an alarm clock to get me up at the end of the flight," Lines told the Globe and Mail.
Lines was resting in the back of the 50-seat CRJ100 jet operated by Air Canada's regional discount carrier, Air Canada Jazz, according to airline spokeswoman Debra Williams. After landing around 6:30 p.m., the plane -- having just completed its last trip of the day -- was emptied out and taken to a hangar.
Apparently unbeknownst to the crew, Lines was still dozing in the rear.
It wasn't until 90 minutes later that a startled mechanic gave him a nudge, rousing him from slumber.
"He said, 'Don't worry, take all the time you want: The flight landed an hour and a half ago,'" Lines recalled. "He was as surprised as I was to see me there."
Williams said this was "an isolated incident" and noted that Jazz operates about 800 flights a day. She would not comment on whether the airline has ever had a similar experience.
"We extend our sincere apologies to the passenger for this situation and the inconvenience experienced," Williams said.
The airline declined to discuss what led to the mishap. However, Lines apparently received an e-mail from the company explaining that the flight attendant did not walk through the cabin after the flight because he was busy assisting several passengers in wheelchairs.
"It is standard operating procedure for our inflight personnel to check the aircraft at the end of a flight for passengers and any belongings that may have been left on board," Williams said. "This incident has been thoroughly reviewed internally and with the crew member concerned as well as with other crew members operating similar aircraft to ensure an incident of this type does not happen again."
Plane Put To Bed With Sleeping Air Canada Passenger Inside
Lines told the Globe and Mail that he received an e-mail apology and was offered 20 percent off his next flight.
"Air Canada has been in touch with the passenger directly," said Williams, who declined further comment.
The March 6 incident came to light only after Lines, apparently displeased with the airline's response, contacted Canadian media.
The incident has raised questions about airport security, all of which Air Canada Jazz has declined to answer.
And, while this seems like a highly unusual case, it might not be a bad idea to set an alarm next time you decide to nap at 30,000 feet.