Drunk flight attendant gives passengers a fright by slurring her safety announcement and dropping things around
Julianne March was working an Air Wisonsin flight from Illinois to Indiana when she started stumbling across the cabin and ended up falling asleep on the jump seat.
A flight attendant working for United Airlines-owned Air Wisconsin was recently fired after she was allegedly found drunk while on duty - slurring the safety announcement, stumbling around the cabin and ultimately falling asleep in the jump seat.
The alleged incident took place on August 2, Julianne March, 49, was working on the flight from Chicago, Illinois, to South Bend, Indiana. After a barely coherent safety protocol announcement, March reportedly began unsteadily moving around the plane and dropping things.
She finally fell asleep in the jump seat and one of the passengers even had to end up securing her seat belt for her.
Aaron Scherb, a former congressional staff member, who was on board the plane and witnessed the less-than-professional actions of the flight attendant, called out the air carrier on Twitter.
"Hey @united, our flight attendant appears to be quite drunk on this from from (sic) 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," he wrote in a tweet.
In another tweet, he added: "All the passengers seem to recognize it too. This is appalling."
Scherb's account was corroborated by the charging documents. "A few passengers reported they felt scared for their lives based upon the apparent condition of Ms. March,” the records said.
He also told WISN-TV that March was “stumbling and staggering back and forth and bumping into passengers as she was kind of zigzagging across the aisle.”
The plane managed to land in its destination without issues. The police, along with other United staff boarded the aircraft soon after. March was discovered with bloodshot eyes and the smell of alcohol on her breath and was escorted to a private airport office for interrogation.
After she was asked where she thought the plane was, March told the authorities, "Chicago."
She admitted to having two vodka “shooters” before boarding the flight. Later on, a breathalyzer test revealed her to have a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent.
March was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail and was charged a few days later with misdemeanor public intoxication. She was released from jail the day after the incident and scheduled to appear for her initial hearing on August 29. If convicted, she faces up to six months in prison.
A spokesperson for Air Wisconsin confirmed to the Belleville News-Democrat that March had been fired following her alleged conduct.
Weighing in on the incident, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said: "In the aviation industry, safety comes first, and we always take swift action to correct when there's something that's unsafe."
Scherb said that he was offered a $500 voucher or 25,000 miles by United for the trouble, as well as a refund for that segment of his trip, but he did not accept it.
"I would hope that United Airlines and Air Wisconsin treat this person as an employee, not as an expendable commodity and that they will help her get treatment for addiction if that's in fact what she suffers from,” he told Fox News in a statement. “Given the significant safety and security roles that flight attendants have, United (and other airlines) should consider adopting zero-tolerance policies for flight attendants going forward."