Tom Wagner was one of them, passing through on his way to LAX Friday.
"I was coming from Louisiana to see my sister in California," said Wagner. "I had a layover in Texas."
Wagner's layover turned out to be anything but normal.
"I woke up and the lights were out. I was like, what's going on? I thought maybe it was a layover, still on the same plane," said Wagner.
He says he woke up to a cold and pitch-black cabin - the aircraft doors were locked shut.
While he was asleep in his seat, somehow, everyone deplaned and no one noticed he was still on board.
"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 call somebody and get me off this plane,'" said Wagner.
He says his girlfriend called United Express. After more than half-an-hour, workers came aboard and were stunned to find him.
"I said, 'Don't put the blame on me. I didn't do anything wrong here.' and then they were, like, try to hush-hush, keep it quiet."
Wagner was given a free toiletry kit, which included a toothbrush and toothpaste and a free motel room for the night.
Expressjet issued the following statement: "Expressjet is investigating to determine how this occurred. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused for the passenger."
Though it was a strange situation, Wagner say's he's more concerned about what could have happened.
"What if i had a medical condition or something? What if i had a heart attack and I was dead? You just shut the plane and leave someone on there? It's the way I look at it," said Wagoner.
United Express did not refund his flight, but gave him a $250 voucher to help him reach California.