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“Our Only Flight Attendant Was too Drunk to Fly”

“Our Only Flight Attendant Was too Drunk to Fly”
Jennifer Billock

Passengers on a recent regional flight from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana, became concerned for a flight attendant’s safety as well as their own when the sole flight attendant on the flight was well over the legal limit for alcohol and flew on the flight drunk, unable to even get out of her jump seat.

On Thursday, a flight attendant on a United Express flight operated by Wisconsin Air from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana, was arrested after the flight landed in Indiana. The flight attendant—who was the sole one on the short flight—was visibly intoxicated, slurring her speech and bumping into passengers. She slumped into her jump seat and didn’t do the safety briefing, didn’t answer any calls, and needed help both buckling her seatbelt and opening the aircraft door when the plane landed.

Officers were waiting at the end of the jet bridge in Indiana, where they arrested her and charged her with public intoxication. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.204.

According to the affidavit, the flight attendant informed the policed that she consumed two vodka “shooters” before work.

Passenger Aaron Scherb was one of the many passengers who noticed the issue and complained to United. They offered him a $500 voucher or 25,000 miles in return for the problem. He did not accept.

“Given that the safety and well-being of all 50 passengers on that flight was jeopardized, I find United’s response to be insufficient,” Scherb told ABC News. “Especially since United had just given a $1200 voucher to a would-be passenger on the flight as we were about to board because the flight was oversold.”

The flight attendant, who was still in a probationary period of employment, was fired.

An Air Wisconsin spokesperson said, “The Flight Attendant involved in this incident is no longer an employee of the company. We will continue to cooperate with local authorities and assist them as necessary.”

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[Featured Image: Facebook/ Yvette McDowell]

View Comments (11)


  1. flytoeat

    August 9, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Clearly she should be terminated, but I hope there’s some sort of alcohol treatment available through her union.

  2. Flyer420

    August 9, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    I seem to remember that we used to call Air Wisconsin Air Whiskey.

  3. glob99

    August 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Hmmm, how come the pilots didn’t notice the FA’s condition?

  4. dhuey


    August 9, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    I hope that we can all be big enough to wish this woman well as she faces a very difficult life challenge.

  5. SarcasticMisanthrope

    August 10, 2019 at 6:14 am

    I’m curious as why the pilots of the aircraft did nothing.

  6. Spanish


    August 11, 2019 at 5:02 am

    Wow, that’s very sad.

  7. zgscl

    August 11, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Very odd incident. I am curious who helped the FA into her seat and with the seat belt. If I were on the plane I would most certainly have called the cockpit on the intercom if the pilots were somehow not aware

  8. IanFromHKG

    August 11, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    dhuey, She was reportedly on probation so presumably had not been working as an FA for long, so this will be less of a disruptive life event than it would have been had she been working as an FA for 20 years and faced significant problems retraining. I suspect, therefore, that this may disrupt her life less than you think; but if it does – well, she must have known the risks.

    In any event, since the FA’s response to life’s challenges seems to be getting hammered just before starting work on a flight where she is responsible for the safety of passengers, I hope you will understand if my sympathies lie elsewhere.

  9. Siempre Viajando

    August 12, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Assuming that she really was drunk on the job, it’s inexcusable and she will likely lose her job. I can’t help feeling sorry for her though. Were I to go through what I see FAs going through day in day out, I too would be driven to drink.

  10. Icecat

    August 15, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Ms. Billock, the give away that you copied this from another source, is in your first line…Wisconsin Air?

  11. N1120A

    August 16, 2019 at 1:43 am

    That is really unfortunate. She’s lucky to be alive at that BAC, as it would have been even higher at some point. I wonder if one of the passengers, or pilots, called this in?

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