Woman kicked off flight for accusing pilot of drinking

Check out this NBC Los Angeles article. A 51 year old lady was kicked off a Delta flight after having a brief conversation with the captain, and smelling alcohol in his breath (which a couple of others noticed as well, apparently). She reported this to the purser (not sure what the point of that is, since the purser is powerless in this circumstance), and the purser reported it to the pilots. After a “manager” came aboard and they did a test on the pilot, it was determined that he hadn’t been drinking.

And then the lady was escorted off the flight…

First of all, kudos to Delta for taking the passenger’s concerns seriously. On one hand I’d be miffed and embarrassed if I were the captain and were accused of drinking when I hadn’t been, but on the other hand I doubt the woman was malicious. She certainly wasn’t a threat to the flight. The reaction seems like a bit of an overkill.

(Tip of the hat to Ralph)

Filed Under: Delta, Media
  1. Now that it is in the news, it will have a chilling effect on the next passenger who smells alcohol on a pilot. They’ll have to decide if they’re sure enough that the pilot is over the limit to risk being denied passage on that flight.

    Seems that risk to all has increased, with no particular offsetting benefit.

    Bad move, Delta.

  2. It is ridiculous to kick her off the flight. It might have been his aftershave or something else that they smelled but thats irrelevant. She reported what she and several other passengers saw and did this in a courteous matter. Cudos to Delta for following up.
    But then why did the captain and the crew not want her on board anymore ? This should not happen and the captain should be reprimanded for it.

  3. that captain was probably an ALPA guy, most of them are very rude and think they own the company btw.

  4. Dear NBC,
    I think the real story is why she was escorted off the flight and what happened? Would love a follow up on this one!

  5. Pilots have to think about the safety of the entire group of passengers. There are a lot of passengers who are high on something. I think this woman wouldn’t let up. If I were a passenger on this flight I wouldn’t want her on my flight. Kudos to the falsely accused pilot !!! When a pilot drinks alcohol it makes national news. Now when a pilot is accused of drinking alcohol it makes national news. I travel a lot and I’m tired of all the idiots I have to deal with on the airplanes. From the comments I’ve read Josh make in these posts, I wouldn’t want an idiot like that as a passenger next to me either.

  6. Ever since the Kyla Ebbert fiasco I have a different reaction to these stories. I wonder whether it’s possible that the customer who is complaining has fabricated, provoked, or exaggerated the incident as a means to generate publicity or shake down the airline for money. I never accept the customer’s side of the incident at face value unless there are corroborating witnesses. Too many people have tried too many scams, and yes, that includes the flying imams.

    I’m waiting for all the facts to come in on this case, if they ever do.

  7. #4, 6, 10, 12. . . that’s you Josh

    It appears you have pilot envy among other issues. I find it pathetic that you choose only to attack the character of pilots and not address the issue at hand. Your comments are juvenile and don’t contribute to the discussion. That is probably a theme with you and your role in your family and society of not contributing, in general. Have you ever thought it might be time to display some maturity?

    What is the problem with ALPA? I had to Google it to try to understand what gives with you. Sounds like you have a lot of resentment over not passing your flying exams or something.

    I happen to know several pilots, including my sister and my dad, who happen to be fine, clean-smelling people. (Geez, your comments are so ludicrous. Are you a teenager who has dropped out of high school?)

    If pilots are so bad, why is your friend into dating so many of them? Is she just a money chaser? Do you secretly wish she would choose you instead of those nasty pilots you have such a distaste for?

    The woman in this issue seems to complain a lot. . . so much so that she is pushing her issue into national news. So she had to take another flight. If she really thought the pilot had been drinking why would she want to remain on that flight. Sounds kind of contradictory to me. The airline gave her food and accommodations and then transported her home at the next possible opportunity. What is the big deal with her being so slightly imposed upon? She sure didn’t have a problem trying to make a huge imposition on the falsely accused pilot’s career or the other passengers who probably would have preferred she never made such an accusation because they wanted to get to their destinations safely and in a timely manner, as I would have.

    Where are all those other people who this woman says agreed with her? I am not hearing any of them vouch for the appropriateness of her behavior. Yet, she is the only one who cared enough about the safety of the flight to make such an accusation. Something doesn’t seem right.

    Josh, read #14. This person has some wisdom in their comments. People do have agendas. What is yours? To go around slamming pilots or people who have opinions you don’t like. . .

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