A flight attendant has been charged after attempting to work on a flight under the influence of alcohol.
And we’re not just talking a quick preflight drink, passengers reported the flight attendant, 49-year-old Julianne March, was stumbling all over the cabin and passed out in her seat for the duration of the flight.
March was working on a United Express flight en route from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana when passengers began to notice she was behaving unusually, the South Bend Tribune reported.
“Our flight attendant appears to be quite drunk,” Aaron Scherb said in a tweet.
“She is slurring her speech (she couldn’t make it through the security announcement), couldn’t walk straight/was bumping into everyone in the aisle, and kept dropping things.”
Hey @united, our flight attendant appears to be quite drunk on this from from ORD to SBN. She is slurring her speech (she couldn’t make it through the security announcement), couldn’t walk straight/was bumping into everyone in the aisle, and kept dropping things.
— Aaron Scherb (@aaronscherb) August 2, 2019
After take-off, March fell asleep in the jump seat, with passengers having to fasten her seatbelt for her.
Upon arrival in South Bend, the flight was boarded by international airport officers who removed March from the plane.
Passengers expressed concern for March, with some believing she may have a medical issue, according to the South Bend Tribune, however when officers asked if she was on any medication she said no.
When officers asked where she was, March replied “Chicago” and did not seem to be able to balance when she tried to stand up.
March later admitted to having two Vodka shooters before work that morning and a breath test revealed she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 per cent, five times the legal limit for flight attendants.
She was later arrested and charged with misdemeanour public intoxication.
This comes less than a week after two United Airlines pilots were arrested on suspicion of taking either drugs or alcohol before boarding a flight from Glasgow to New Jersey, causing the flight to be cancelled.
The airline has since tightened its rules for when pilots must stop drinking before reporting to duty, according to Skift, with new requirements calling for a 12-hour gap between a pilot’s final sip of alcohol and flying a plane, up from the previously required eight-hours.
Travel Weekly has approached United Airlines for comment.