When Tom Wagner boarded his flight from Louisiana to California, the last thing that he would have guessed is that he'd wake up alone in the dark, locked inside an airplane.
Wagner told HLN affiliate KTRK that he was taking a nap on the flight, and he woke up alone in an empty cabin with doors locked shut.
"I called my girlfriend, and she thought I was crazy. I said "Debbie I'm locked on the plane.' I said, 'I'm telling you the truth; you better go somewhere and get me off this plane.'"
Wagner's girlfriend called United Airlines, and stunned workers found Wagner trapped inside about a half hour later. The flight had landed for a stopover in Houston, Texas, at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
"They didn't sweep the plane," Wagner told KTRK. "I mean, who shut the door?"
The flight was operated by ExpressJet, a United partner. ExpressJet told KTRK that there was a post-flight walkthrough, but it could not explain how Wagner was left behind.
Expressjet issued the following statement to KTRK: "An ExpressJet passenger remained on board flight 4245, operating as United Express from Lafayette, La. to Houston on Friday, Dec. 6, after all passengers had deplaned. ExpressJet is investigating to determine how this occurred. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused for the passenger."
Wagner told KTRK he missed the connecting flight, but that United Express gave him a hotel room for the night and got him to California the next day, as well as a $250 voucher for a future flight.
CNN Wires contributed to this report.