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Teen Stowaway Survives Hawaiian Airlines Flight While Trapped Inside the Plane's Wheel Well

Hawaiian Airlines KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Well, this is one way to avoid paying a fee to check your luggage. But we do not recommend it.

A 16-year-old boy who stowed away on a flight from California to Hawaii on Sunday morning somehow managed to survive the trip, even though he spent the five-hour journey inside the plane's wheel well. That means he lived through temperatures as low as 80 degrees below zero and the lack of oxygen at 38,000 feet.

"It's amazing he survived that," FBI spokesman Tom Simon said. "Kid's lucky to be alive."

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So why did the teenager sneak onto the plane in the first place? For the obvious adolescent reason: He wanted to run away from his family after they had an argument.

Security footage shows him hopping a fence at San Jose International Airport and climbing aboard Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 that was headed to Maui. When the Boeing 767 landed in Hawaii, the boy came back down from the wheel well and started wandering around the airport.

Soon after he was discovered, he was evaluated for injuries and was found to be unharmed, which is a "miracle" in itself, according to Simon.

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"He was unconscious for pretty much the entire flight," said Simon. "I imagine he must have blacked out at about 10,000 feet. The air is pretty thin up there."

Mineta San Jose International Airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes says that airport police are working with the FBI and TSA to find out how the kid managed to sneak aboard a plane in the first place.

Whatever happened to just running to your friend's house after an argument with your parents? Kids today, right?

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