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LITTLETON, Colo. -- Charles McKinley has established a business here that will allow him to ship people as cargo aboard short-hop domestic flights.
McKinley has experience in this field. Indeed, Mr. McKinley gained much notoriety recently as "Charlie in a Box" when he squeezed his 5 foot, 8 inch frame into a 42 X 36 X 15 inch box and shipped himself, as cargo, from New York to his parent's home in a Dallas suburb to avoid the cost of an airline ticket.
When interviewed in his new office at the headquarters of United Person Service (UPS), McKinley said, "We have already received considerable interest from a number of Fortune 500 companies who are seeking ways to reduce the travel expenses for their employees. In response to those inquiries, we are setting up a frequent shipper program and are developing a 'first-class' leather shipping container that would be almost 4 inches larger in every dimension."
Will Small, a spokesman for the newly formed company said that a contract has been awarded to Sarcophagus Industries of Hong Kong to produce 8,600 economy-class personnel shipping crates. Each crate will have a reading light, drinking water, a waste bag, and space for two pieces of luggage.
First-class containers will be introduced this fall and will include personal video players and full mini-bars with complimentary cocktails. "Double- and triple-wide containers are being considered for family travel," said Mr. Small, "and may be added next year."
UPS expects to become profitable within 18 months, and sources close to the company have mentioned that it has a "soft" order for six specially configured Airbus A300s that could carry 530 economy and 122 first class containers to international destinations.
Not allowing his idea for budget travel to wane, Mr. McKinley is already showing interest in entering the lodging business with a franchise program for minuscule motels.
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