CALPSAFltSkeds From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 2210 posts, RR: 8 Posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25557 times:
This is hard to believe. A lady spoke with the captain in the jetway and she and others thought the pilot smelled of alcohol. She told a Fight Attendant and the saga started, which ended up with DL (pilots) booting her off the flight.
Dl767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25438 times:
I'm sure we don't know the other sides of this story, for all we know she may not have acted as calmly as she thinks she did. Either way the pilot gets to decide who goes and who stays, she may not like it but what did she expect after accusing the pilot of drinking, it's a very serious accusation that could create huge problems for the pilot.
richierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4024 posts, RR: 6 Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25397 times:
Interesting story - I suspect there is another side to this though.
On the one hand, you definitely don't want a situation where a whistle-blower is afraid to speak up and say something. But you also cannot have random people making a fuss and causing a disruption every time they feel like it.
RL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4537 posts, RR: 13 Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25315 times:
Well normally I dont think i would side with a passenger, if others smelled it too (as indicated in the article) then it is an issue. The problem is there is no good protocol for handlign this type of situation. If I truly believed that the captain of my flight had been drinking (in excess), I'd call the police and not tell the airline. I dont believe that we need to police pilots before they get on board the aircraft, but if a few bad apples make the press then who knows what may happen as a result.
Really the crew is the best line of defense but who would rat a coworker out with something serious like that. A good temporary measure would be an anonymous employee tipline and they can monitor the situation from there.
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
UAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2225 posts, RR: 13 Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25195 times:
She completely did the right thing by telling someone, I would have got off the aircraft and told someone on the ground but she did the right thing either way. If you think a pilot who is about to fly a plane has been drinking you report it.
I'm sure after reported to the FO the FO told the CAPT what was going on and asked that he take a breathalyzer before continuing on the flight just to cover his own ass. CAPT calls and tells SOC what is going on they send a breathalyzer with a witness and CAPT is cleared.
Now Delta also did the right thing by asking the lady to take another flight. She has voiced her concern, they took it seriously and verified the CAPT was not drinking but for the safety of the flight she has to be removed. She didn't do anything wrong but to let her go onto LAX could cause problems, especially if she starts talking to other passengers about the incident.
There was a problem, Delta resolved it than contained it so that it didn't get any larger, GREAT JOB DELTA!!!!!
This lady was given a hotel, food, and a flight the next morning. The did a GREAT job handling this situation.
jetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7336 posts, RR: 52 Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 25095 times:
Quoting cokepopper (Reply 1): Huge accusation on her part. Remember there's always
THREE sides to a story.
Don't forget the epilogue, where she decides to sue Delta.
Quoting RL757PVD (Reply 4): Well normally I dont think i would side with a passenger, if others smelled it too (as indicated in the article) then it is an issue. The problem is there is no good protocol for handlign this type of situation
There isn't, not without consequences anyway. In all likelihood, I think the flight would've gone on with no issues, but there is an element of vindictiveness between passengers and employees. Several times, i've flown with pilots who take a sledgehammer approach towards conflict resolution. It's part of the way we as airline employees handle things. No longer are we going to accept the "grey area" explanation anymore. From the pilots point of view, she had lost confidence in his judgement, his integrity and his ability. And he didn't want her to risk her life, so he did what he thought was right. She decided to take the bull by the horns and she got the entire bull. If you're going to make an accusation, you have to be completely sure. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of it. She's retained an attorney, which means she plans to sue. Good luck.
jfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2675 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 24915 times:
If the article is correct, Delta handled the situation correctly.
If a pilot is accused of drinking, he (she assumed throughout) takes the test. He walks right out of the cockpit and takes the test to immediately clear his name.
If the pilot is cleared, he can take the flight or walk away. If the pilot (in this case Capt) returns to the cockpit he is in charge of the flight.
As the Captain, he can kick anyone off the flight that he pleases if he feels it is a distraction to his job or a safety issue. This is his call.
That is why he is called the Captain.
In this day and age of empowerment and political correctness we often forget who's in charge or feel we have the right to question authority to no avail. From parking brake release to parking brake set, the guy in the left seat is in charge . . . plain and simple.
AirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3639 posts, RR: 12 Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 24861 times:
Sounds like a non issue to me. Once the door is closed that is the Captains plane and he has every right to boot anyone off the plane that he wants to. I think Delta handled the situation very well, and the lady even got another night to visit her son.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
peterjohns From Germany, joined Jan 2009, 153 posts, RR: 2 Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 24613 times:
Something is odd to this whole story.
If the Cpt. is cleared- why should he have the Passenger removed who spoke up? It should be her good right to issue her concerns- especially if several pax smelled it as well.
I don´t think it a wise move to then remove her from the flight- will she ever speak up again in a safety related case?
If there is nothing to hide then just go on with it.
I´m not happy with the part that officials board the plane a second time and take her off. There must be something missing there.
Anyway- we all know that Pilots don´t drink before flights, don´t we?
richierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4024 posts, RR: 6 Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 24450 times:
Quoting AR385 (Reply 13): I agree that the Captain has the discretion to throw off the plane anybody whose presence onboard he deems unnecesary. Still, it was not very political or smart on his part.
It seems to have worked out pretty well for him. If he had been drinking before that flight, there is no proof now and its a he said she said issue. If he wasn't drinking before the flight and had the passenger removed anyway, there was no skin off of his back for throwing around his authority.
Quoting 777236er (Reply 9): Of course he or she can, and they will be sacked for making the wrong decision...which I suspect will happen in this case.
I don't necessarily think that will happen... there is at least one more side to this story as several of us have suggested. He could say that she was the one drinking and causing a scene. Who knows what really happened.
AirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3639 posts, RR: 12 Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 24247 times:
Quoting 777236er (Reply 9): Of course he or she can, and they will be sacked for making the wrong decision...which I suspect will happen in this case.
No he won't. All he has to do is say that he did it in the name of safety and he will be completely cleared. ALPA won't let someone get fired over something like this. Hell, the guys who landed on a taxiway only had to go through re-training. I think you underestimate the power of the union over here my friend.
The we would be reading an article about a "Hero Passenger Save's 250 Live's By Detecting Drunk Pilot". The article said the pilot was tested and cleared to return to work. Had he been drunk the flight would have been delayed while they pulled a ready reserve captain up from downstairs
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
N92R03 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 251 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 24182 times:
Props to DL for the way it was handled. Glad the Captain was cleared.
If I had been the whistle-blower, I'd have preferred taking a different flight although I'm sure the crew of that flight would know what I had done...Kind of a lose-lose situation but at least we are not reading about another pilot trying to fly while being hammered.
There is a reason many folks tip the vodka back in secrecy, as there is no smell to vodka and many other hard liquors. I question the whole "we could smell vodka" story. Perhaps the other pax thought they smelled some type of alcohol but "vodka" was convenient.
NorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1713 posts, RR: 1 Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 24171 times:
I think Delta handled the situation correctly, I think if I were the passenger however, i'd have handled it differently.
Rather than waiting to get on the plane and making some kind of big scene by reporting it to a crew member possibly within earshot of other passengers, i'd have walked back up the jetway and spoken with the gate agent. I would have asked to be removed from the flight and i'd have explained my concern that i thought one of the pilots smelled like he had alcohol on his breath. That way I'm off the flight anyway and no one's sensitivities have been hurt by what turns out to be a false accusation. In the end, there's no need to make a big deal out of it, i'd much rather be discrete and if possible stay anonymous than make a big stink. the way i figure it, I always have a choice as to whether or not to get on an airplane, and if getting on that plane makes me feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, I'll just catch another flight.
I could have elite status if I wanted it, but flying the same airline all the time is boring.
thegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2274 posts, RR: 3 Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 24131 times:
A lawsuit will ensue and she will lose...
Making allegations that the pilot has been drinking is serious....that pilot will lose his career if he has been drinking...
This one was not...good move Delta...
AR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 4854 posts, RR: 28 Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 24042 times:
Quoting N92R03 (Reply 18): There is a reason many folks tip the vodka back in secrecy, as there is no smell to vodka and many other hard liquors. I question the whole "we could smell vodka" story. Perhaps the other pax thought they smelled some type of alcohol but "vodka" was convenient.
I can tell you from experience that that is a myth. Vodka will smell on you as any other liquor will, specially once your body starts to excrete through respiration. Maybe the SMELL, the particular scent of Vodka is less strong than Bourbon, for example, but the alcohol smells just the same and will be detected by anyone with a mediocre nose whos passes by.
Flaps From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1118 posts, RR: 4 Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 23991 times:
Kudos to Delta. If the article is correct they did everything right from start to finish. The captain was corrrect in his actions. He has no way of knowing how this accuser is going to act once airborne. She might be perfectly content and accepting of his verified innocense and the situation ends there. On the other hand she could also be non accepting and become disruptive. As captain I would have made the same decision.
There are an enormous amount of gold digging sensasionalists in this country that will take and run with every opportunity for their fifteen minutes of fame or the possibitly of legal paydirt. Im not accusing this woman of that (yet) but I have to say hmmm. Her concerns were addressed, she was compensated for her inconvenience, everyone is safe. End of story.
airlinereporter From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 78 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 23320 times:
What a very difficult situation that everyone was in. If it was just her who smelled the possible alcohol, it would be a very different situation. If multiple people smelled something, it should have been checked on like it was. If the pilot kicked off the passenger because he honestly felt it was for the best due to safety, then no problem. If he booted her for retaliation against her, that is not alright.
burnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7411 posts, RR: 9 Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 23189 times:
Sorry but anytime that the pilot is accused or even someone jokingly mentions that they pilot was drinking, smells like booze, or was seen near a bar they have to take a mandatory breathalizer etc. I'm calling BS on this woman, some drunk guy said he thought he saw my dad at the airport bar shortly before the flight, he had to delay the flight 3 hours for a breathalizer and other tests and talk to managers and of course the guy got booted off the flight.
"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
25 JBAirwaysFan: If this is the case and the pilot was drinking, I'm sure she didn't mind being kicked off the flight.
26 airport: I must be taking crazy pills this morning. Why should the woman be punished for raising what could be a potentially VERY serious issue? She paid good
27 DiamondFlyer: I still think they had very fortunate timing. Had the NW A320 situation not blown up at nearly the same time, the taxiway landing would have made the
28 C767P: You would think so, wouldn’t you? Erwin Washington, a UA pilot who was arrested in London attempting to fly a 767 to ORD drunk did not lose his job
29 thegreatRDU: Crazy right? He's a union member...and you know how it is with them...
30 mho: Some cheap after-shave and colognes can make you smell like a veritable boozehound.
31 flybyguy: This is such a bloody double standard. Any passenger can accuse anyone else of being a terrorist and they have absolutely no legal recourse to contest
32 okie73: A ready reserve captain sitting down stairs? Thats funny.
33 ROSWELL41: This woman won't get any settlement from Delta nor should she. We've only heard her side of the story from the article and I suspect there is more to
34 Braniff727Ultra: I believe the pilot AND Delta both acted correctly. From the "looks" of things by having to have her leave the plane twice it sure seems that during t
35 Airport: That is a terrible analogy. There are extreme risks of human life that could come as a result of yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre -- telling an F/
36 Max Q: Good for the Captain and good for Delta. I would have kicked her off as well. You just don't get to make that kind of accusation without consequences.
37 ikramerica: The captain needs to buy better cologne, and this kind of thing won't happen again.
38 rikkus67: 100% agree NorthstarBoy. Sad thing is...how many would actually do that in liability hungry USA?
39 ROSWELL41: Perhaps if you were on the receiving end of such an accusation you would view things differently. Should the accusation be baseless as it was in this
40 Numero4: If I believe that this story unfolded just like the article depicts it, then kudos to Delta for handling it the way they did. I can appreciate their p
41 wjcandee: Problem is that a flight the next day and a free hotel (woo-hoo!) is hardly a comparable experience. Most posters seem to be acting as if she's Suzy H
42 KDEN: That's ridiculous! This seems like nothing more than revenge. The captain was cleared, and the passenger was told this. Everything is now under contr
43 flybyguy: If her accusation was deemed malicious don't you think DL would have rode her out on a rail instead of paying for food, hotel and a flight the next d
44 web500sjc: so what happens if the said whistle blower was a buisness person closing a multi-billion dollar deal in person- and because that person was not there
45 surfdog75: Sorry, what she had wasn't alertness. It was just a plain incorrect accusation. Groupthink between her and the other three. If I'm going to accuse an
46 web500sjc: if it was career ending, than god for her, because she would have saved 200 people from a drunken ride through the sky! - what if it wasnt a drunk pi
47 ROSWELL41: Like most things, the devil is in the details. I suspect a lot of these decisions were made due to how she made these accusations, not necessarily the
48 Braniff727Ultra: Quoting web500sjc: so what happens if the said whistle blower was a buisness person closing a multi-billion dollar deal in person- and because that pe
49 web500sjc: ill stick with my current opinion (you shouldnt punish a whistle blower/ someone who is trying to do the right thing) untill the rest of the details
50 Braniff727Ultra: web500sjc; I'll stand by my previous comment about how i feel there is more too "her" side of this than was reported. I feel that she might have had a
51 bjorn14: and stopping getting the masseuse to use alcohol in those rubdowns. and usually in those deals there are many people involved not just one.
52 thrufru: Among the many other comments on this board, including the captain's ultimate authority, this hits the nail on the head. Her actions questioned not j
53 deltaguy767: Everyone who is lambasting DL for their handling of the situation and treating the woman's ejection as a "punishment" is completely off base. First of
54 fxramper: This is the easiest piece of information that can be offered given what we factually know about this story. As stated, there are 3 sides to every sto
55 dldtw1962: I think DL did the right thing also. And same goes for this lady. However, one thing I find a little troubling is. Since when can you smell Vodka? I t
56 iairallie: Someone who values their own personal safety and that of their passengers. However there are ways of handling it without ratting someone out. Like ma
57 Giancavia: If he was drunk or had high levels of alcohol flowing around in him would the rest of the crew take his side? Doubt it .. im pretty sure they value th
58 aaexecplat: How was she "accusing" anything? She apparently mentioned to the flight attendant that she "thought she and other passengers had smelled alcohol on t
59 FlyWhisperjets: Vodka does smell on a persons breath after drinking it....The lady probably did smell alcohol in the jet way considering that the flight was late eve
60 aaexecplat: I find it humorous to read suggestions that the pilot should counter-sue for slander. Do you have any idea how hard it is to win such a suit in the US
61 bjorn14: Apparently the woman wasn't too concerned because she got on the plane and went back to her seat...TWICE!
62 copter808: No, I would relate it more to discreetly telling a theater employee you "thought" you smelled smoke. Your mentioning your concern discreetly to the s
63 alwaysontherun: Isn´t booting a person off with the doors closed extremely cruel? Especially in mid air! ###"I´m always on the Run"###
64 MLD9S: I am a flight attendant. I have been in this situation. NOT a situation where our captain had been drinking but a situation where a passenger thought
65 justlump: So, because Ms. Angel "thought" she smelled alcohol, she was compelled to delay a flight for at least an hour and endanger the career of an innocent C
66 AKviator: Ugh, that's an incredibly tasteless joke. That ranks up there with joking there's a bomb on board.
67 futureualpilot: Most of us know that it isn't worth placing our careers at risk, and won't even think about showing up with alcohol in our system. I won't even use m
68 1stfl94: I do think this situations sucks for both sides as the pilot had to be tested and the flight delayed while the passenger was inconvenienced. But Delta
69 indolikaa: They don't need to come up with a story. They are an airline; therefore, they have perpetual liability no matter how they handle an incident. Look no
70 Flaps: Or perhaps they feel that since they correctly handled the situation, as far as their part goes it is case closed, over and done with. There is no ne
71 AAExecPlat: I don't even know where to start... 1) You don't seem to understand that alcoholism is a disease. If you are an alcoholic, you can't make a choice wh
72 Kaiarahi: Can you enlighten us on how to kick someone off when the door is closed? BTW, the door was open.
73 XFSUgimpLB41X: The pilots had started out in PIT earlier in the day. The rotation shows that it was over a 4 hour hub turn indicating that they delayed the flight fo
74 Flaps: I understand and respect the intent behind this post but that approach opens an awful can of worms. Maybe all passengers should blow a breathalyzer b
75 XFSUgimpLB41X: ...by pulling back into the gate... Now you are enlightened!