Drunk Flight Attendant Arrested After Reportedly Slurring Speech and Passing Out Mid-flight (Video)
A United Airlines flight attendant is facing criminal charges after allegedly boarding an aircraft while intoxicated.
According to ABC, Julianne March, a 49-year-old flight attendant from Waukesha, Wisconsin, was charged with the misdemeanor by prosecutors in St. Joseph's County, Indiana following the flight. United Airlines confirmed passengers reported the incident on the United Express flight, operated by Air Wisconsin, from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana.
Passengers reported that March refused to make eye contact with them as they boarded the plane. She allegedly slurred her speech through the safety instructions and passed out in her jump seat. Passengers said they then had to buckle her in for the rest of the ride.
“Our flight attendant appears to be quite drunk,” Aaron Scherb, a passenger on the flight, tweeted, according to South Bend Tribune. “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.”
According to Scherb, every passenger on board was aware of the situation.
"We expect our regional carriers to take appropriate action as required when issues like these happen with their employees,” a United Airlines spokesperson told ABC. “Legally and with regards to regulatory agencies this is an Air Wisconsin issue.”
And it appears the regional carrier did indeed take swift and appropriate action.
"The Flight Attendant involved in this incident is no longer an employee of the company,” an Air Wisconsin spokesperson told ABC. “We will continue to cooperate with local authorities and assist them as necessary."
Upon landing at South Bend International Airport, police boarded the plane where they confronted March. March reportedly began crying, and when asked where she was replied “Chicago.” She finally agreed to a breathalyzer, which read .02, or about five times the legal limit for flight attendants, ABC reported.
According to the affidavit obtained by the Belleville News-Democrat, the flight attendant told police she drank two vodka “shooters” before work. She’s now facing up to six months in jail, a spokeswoman for the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office told the paper.
The airline offered Scherb a partial refund, a $500 voucher or 25,000 free air miles. So far, he has not accepted those terms. As he told the South Bend Tribune, “I didn’t think $500 was sufficient after 50 peoples’ safety was compromised.”