You may think you’ve endured some rough flights, what with the tray tables, death stares, cramped seats and window shade battles, but this story should take all of your grievances and shove them into an overhead locker.
A man has been found in Miami airport having unbelievably hitched a ride in the landing gear of an American Airlines plane from Guatemala. Flights from Guatemala to Miami normally take about two and a half hours. The man remarkably survived the trip.
Video footage posted on Instagram and Twitter by local news outlet @onlyindade shows a lot of cars and ground marshalls and a Miami Dade Fire Rescue official offering the man water with a stretcher nearby. The man looked dazed. The person filming can be heard saying in Spanish: “Look where he was, look where he was,” while showing the interior of the landing gear. “Poor guy.”
Another video by @onlyindade is captioned: “This man arrived to MIA in the landing gear of a plane from a Guatemlala flight. The flight about about two hours and thirty minutes and witness says he was unharmed.” The man was turned over to US immigration officials and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
A spokesperson for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said: “Persons are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces such as an aircraft. This incident remains under investigation.” American Airlines has said in a statement. “We are working with law enforcement in their investigation.”
The Guardian reports: “Guatemala has accounted for a large portion of some 1.7 million migrants apprehended or expelled by US border agents over the past year, many of them Central Americans fleeing violent gangs and grinding poverty.”
According to The Guardian, “An immigration attorney, Angel Leal, told WTVJ the Guatemalan stowaway would be detained by CBP while facing an expedited removal order.”
Comments beneath the videos on social media show some people believe the man should be allowed to stay in America.
One Instagram user wrote: “The horrible things they have to endure in their country to even consider doing something like this. Poor guy, glad he’s okay. Let him stay!” Another commented: “This is a miracle. Crazy how he is still alive. Desperate ppl do desperate things He deserves to stay after that.”
“That’s one way to skip TSA lines,” wrote another.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle to have survived in the wheel well of an airplane, let alone a 737 if this is one. Give the man his papers.”
Another wasn’t so sure, writing, “I’m leaning towards letting him in and stay since he survived. Of course, that may lead to many others trying and failing.”