Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges Wednesday against a man who climbed into a crate and had himself shipped by air from New York (search) to Dallas (search) to visit his parents.

Charles D. McKinley was charged with stowing away on a cargo jet. He could face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine if convicted.

McKinley, a 25-year-old shipping clerk at a New York warehouse, journeyed overnight about 1,500 miles by truck, plane and delivery van before startling his parents by popping out of the box at their homil.

McKinley said he was homesick and looking for a cheap way to visit his parents when he wedged himself into a crate measuring 42 by 36 by 15 inches.

He said on Wednesday's "Today" show on NBC that he was already "scared and nervous" when he was nailed into the crate.

"This is the dumbest thing and the craziest thing I could ever do within my life," he added. "I was short of cash and truthfully I really should've waited."

McKinley was arrested and jailed on unrelated traffic and bad-check charges after the startled deliveryman called police in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto.

Several companies were involved in handling McKinley's crate, and all of them said they followed security procedures.

UPS picked it up at the warehouse where McKinley worked. Pilot Air Freight took the box to Kennedy Airport, then it was trucked to Newark, N.J., and loaded on a Kitty Hawk Cargo plane (search).

After stops in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Fort Wayne, Ind., it landed in Dallas, where a deliveryman for Pilot Air Freight took it to the home of McKinley's parents.