SEATTLE (AP) _ A man hid in the cargo hold of a Northwest Airlines flight Friday and traveled more than 2,000 miles to Memphis, Tenn., where he fled into the terminal and disappeared.

The stowaway settled into the heated and pressurized front section of the cargo hold, where pets are kept, as Flight 946 left Seattle on Friday morning, KIRO-TV reported.

On arrival in Memphis, he asked baggage handlers for a ride to the terminal, KIRO reported. When the handlers challenged him, he fled.

``You don't anticipate that there will be a person when you open the cargo door,'' said Minneapolis-based Northwest spokeswoman Kathy Peach, who said the man appeared to be in his late 20s.

The man's identity is unknown.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Seattle port police were investigating, said Scott Ingham, a Northwest spokesman in Seattle.

The FAA here referred questions to a suburban Atlanta facility, where a person who answered the phone Friday evening said FAA involvement was unknown.

A spokesman for the Port of Seattle, which operates the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said how the man got to the plane is unknown.

``We're very interested in learning how this individual got onto the airfield,'' spokesman Bob Parker said.

Memphis Airport police referred calls to Northwest.