Shocked Man Wakes Up in Cargo Hold Mid-Flight, Forces Plane to Land

'We're getting ready to land, hold onto something!'

What's it like to be trapped inside the cargo hold of a passenger jet?

It happened on board a packed jet moments after takeoff from Seattle.

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Passengers heard a terrifying sound coming from the cargo hold of the Alaska Airlines jet en route to LA.

The pilot immediately radioed that he was turning back.

The pilot said, "We don't have to dump fuel or anything like that. I think we heard a noise from the baggage compartment. Could be a person in there so we're going to have to come back around."

An air marshal took charge, yelling to the man in the hold to stay calm.

One passenger on the flight, Troi Ge, said, "The marshal kind of made himself known and he started banging back and he yelled really loud, 'We're getting ready to land, hold on to something!'"

Passengers took to social media to spread the word.

"Someone was heard screaming in the cargo area," posted one passenger.

Another said, "Someone stuck in cargo hold, how does that happen?"

It turned out to be a baggage handler who fell asleep after working a 9-hour shift. The man still looked dazed after his rescue.

He was checked out in a Seattle hospital and passed a drug test.

INSIDE EDITION producer Daela Cetrone went to Southern California Aviation, which services airliners, and climbed inside a similar jet.

She said, "It is dark, it is cold, it's very eerie, very cramped, and you can imagine how terrifying it would be to be alone inside here when all you're trying to do is bang and get help and hope that someone hears you."

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Fortunately for the sleepy baggage handler, he was trapped in a compartment beneath first class that is pressurized and temperature controlled - it's where pets are kept in cages.

No word yet on whether the baggage handler will hold on to his job.