By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 10, 2003 05:12 PM

A Bronx, N.Y., man shipped himself to his family in Texas by climbing inside a tight wooden crate and flying as air freight, reports Wednesday’s New York Post and Daily News.

Charles McKinley, 25, armed with only a cell phone (which didn’t work in the air), finished his 18-hour, 1,500-mile trip, which required a change of planes, unhurt, finally kicking his way out of the box after the journey on Saturday.

His reason for traveling in such a fashion was that he wanted to avoid paying the $383 fare it would have cost him, as he had booked his trip at the last minute.

So, instead, the adventure actually cost $500, though he charged that to his employer, a company called Metro Tech.

Not that McKinley had a happy landing. He was arrested and jailed for 10 days on a charge of writing a bad check, and the FBI is looking into his stunt to see if he possibly broke any stowaway laws.

“He violated the law of stupidity, if nothing else,” Dallas District Attorney Bill Hill tells the Daily News.

“I’m just a guy who really wanted to go home,” McKinley told the paper in a jailhouse interview. “I wish I had taken a bus.”