‘Drunk’ flight attendant was so ‘wasted’ she passed out

A BOOZED-UP flight attendant was so intoxicated that she passed out in her seat – leaving worried passengers to look after HER.

Julianne March, 49, of Wisconsin, US, was allegedly so drunk that she had no idea what city the United Express plane landed in, say prosecutors.

March was charged with criminal public intoxication yesterday after passengers reported her being slumped forward in her seat.

A breathalyser test found that she was five times over the legal limit for flight attendants.

March was working on board a morning flight from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to South Bend, Indiana, on August 2 when passengers noted she was walking into seat and travellers.

She also allegedly dropped items and struggled to deliver the air safety message, as she was slurring too much.

Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs for democracy campaign group Common Cause, tweeted: “Hey @united, our flight attendant appears to be quite drunk on this from ORD to SDN.

“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.

All the passengers seem to recognize it too. This is appalling.”

United Airlines replied soon afterwards, tweeting that it wanted to “continue our conversation via direct message” with Scherb, to keep the matter private.

Scherb later told McClatchy newsgroup: “After everyone boarded the flight and we were still parked at the gate, the flight attendant began the security announcement, which seemed very slurred.

“She stopped after about 10 seconds without finishing.”

He added that when the plane continued along the runway, March sat down in her designated seat and seemed to “pass out”.

Another passenger, Dan, told ABC News that she was the sole flight attendant on the “very small plane”.

The man, who didn’t provide his surname, told the broadcaster: “The phone rang multiple times [in the cabin] without her answering, which to me was the most concerning part because the pilot wasn’t able to communicate with the lone flight attendant, and took off anyway.”

Upon landing at South Bend, officers boarded the plane to escort her away.

An arrest affidavit said she was either under the influence or suffering a “medical issue”.

Upon seeing the cops, March burst into tears.

When asked what city the planed had touched down in, she replied Chicago, prosecutors said.

A breathalyser test found her level was 0.204, five times over the legal limit for flight attendants.

According to the Belleville News-Democrat, no medical issues were found during an evaluation at the private airport office.

Cops noted that March’s eyes were bloodshot, her balance was poor, and they could smell booze on her breath.

While being taken into custody she allegedly told one officer that she had drunk two vodka shooters before starting work that day.

As the flight was operated by Air Wisconsin, with Air Wisconsin crew and flight attendant, a United Airlines spokesperson said: “We expect our regional carriers to take appropriate action as required when issues like these happen with their employees.

“Legally and with regards to regulatory agencies this is an Air Wisconsin issue.

Air Wisconsin confirmed that March had since been fired, telling reporters she was “no longer an employee of the company”.

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants said: “In this instance the airline took swift action [but] I wish that it had been something that had been caught before the flight attendant was on the plane, because we also believe in helping people who are dealing with substance abuse and can get [them] into a track for recovery.”

March has been released from St Joseph County Jail in Indiana and will return to court on August 29.

It’s the latest incident involving allegedly drunk crew members.

A United pilot has recently appeared in court after allegedly failing a breath test ahead of a flight from Scotland to the US.

Glendon Gulliver was charged under the Railways and Transport Safety Act but made no plea.

The 61-year-old of Colorado, America, was granted bail at Paisley Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

A United Airlines service from Glasgow to Newark was cancelled on Saturday after Gulliver and his co-pilot were arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drink or drugs.

Flight number UA162 had been due to depart Glasgow Airport at 9am.

The law states the alcohol limit for pilots is nine micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – less than half the 22 micrograms limit for drivers in Scotland.

The other pilot, 45, who was arrested for allegedly failing a breath test ahead of the same flight was released without charge before the hearing.