Julianne March, 49, of Waukesha, Wisconsin, is out of a job and faces misconduct after becoming so full on the job that she was unable to perform basic flight attendance duties.
Passengers immediately noticed that something was wrong when March refused to make eye contact with passengers while boarding, then turned their words during pre-flight announcements and stumbled as she walked down the aisle and encountered several passengers.
But what really gave it away was that she started but failed to complete the security briefing before flying. Instead, she slipped into the seat and passed out the rest of the flight. Several calls from the flight deck, a standard part of the pre-flight safety sequence, were not answered. She didn't even fasten the seat belt: another passenger did it for her.
The particularly daunting aspect was that this was a 50 seater regional jet and that she was the only flight attendant on the plane. This incident happened on United flight 4849, from Chicago (ORD) to South Bend (SBN) on August 2, 2019.
A passenger tweeted to United:
Hey @united our flight attendant looks like to be quite drunk on this from ORD to SBN. She smirks her speech (she couldn't get through the security message), couldn't go straight / hit everyone in the aisle and kept dropping things.
– Aaron Scherb (@aaronscherb) August 2, 2019
Police met the plane on arrival in South Bend and March was immediately arrested. Her BAC registered at 0.204, five times the legal limit for an air hostess. She was booked for criminal public intoxication. She later admitted to police that she had consumed two vodka chasers before work.
Flight Attendant Fired
A spokesman for Air Wisconsin said:
The Flight Attendant involved in this incident is no longer employed by the company. We will continue to work with local authorities and assist them as needed.
An insider told ABC News that she was a recent recruit and still a probationary flight attendant.
Meanwhile, United were quick to point their finger at Air Wisconsin:
We expect our regional carriers to take the necessary action when required when problems like these happen to their employees. Legally and in terms of regulatory agencies, this is an Air Wisconsin issue.
Both statements are certainly true, but this is primarily a united, not Air Wisconsin, public relations issue.
This is one of those WOW stories … a story that is considered one of the most upsetting rush events I've ever covered on Live and Let's Fly . Mars, a name that gives me visions of the District Attorney in Matlock who had the same character name (and thus dates me …), has not offered her side of the story. Hopefully, she gets the help she needs … but she has lost her privilege to be a flight attendant.
I have a question. Since the FA did not answer the call for the flight deck, why did they take off? Does it not also use the protocols?
First Trans States, now Air Wisconsin …
> Read more: Passengers rescued by "Drunk or Stoned" FA on United Express
image: Aaron Scherb / Twitter