How lovely. Apparently asking if pilot was drinking will now get you kicked off the flight, even if you only ask once. In this particular case, female passenger was the one to stick her neck out for the group of passengers who had a brief conversation with a pilot (who was late) and then smelled alcohol on captain’s breath.
Well, too bad. Because, according to Delta representative, they tested the captain and “he had nothing to drink”. You’d think this would be the end of it — maybe he had some sort of food or an aftershave (not to drink, of course). Given they checked it out, and said to the lady that everything is okay, the situation should be resolved, right?
Wrong. “Accusation” was “taken seriously” and because the captain stayed, passenger was kicked off the flight. Oh she was provided with a meal voucher and hotel, but she had to take another flight. Even though she was completely happy that they did check everything out.
Other passengers from the group lucked out by not reporting it, otherwise all of them would be removed from the flight. I fail to see how such policies make flying (or reporting drunken pilots) safer. Now, instead of being concerned about their own life and everyone else’s safety, passengers will think “Okay, maybe captain just had a blody mary and is not drunk enough, do I really want to risk it being kicked off the flight to report it?”
Article also quotes a retired United Airlines pilot Ross Aimer, who said that Delta made the right decision and “… captain has his crew and hundreds of other passengers to think about.” Allright, how exactly flying with passenger who asked if he was drunk, was satisfied with the answer and did not voice any other concerns interferes with that part of captain’s duty? Was he too upset that he’d have to think about the lady who had the nerve to ask if he was drinking? Was he questioning his ability to help her off the plane if some emergency were to arrive? “You, normal passengers, go to the exit, and you, complaining lady, stay here and burn” or something like that? Pure madness.
Of course a letter was drafted by the lawyer, and in this particular case I’m okay with having a nice little lawsuit that’ll force Delta Airline (and any other airline with similar policies) to think twice about kicking passengers off their flight for satisfied complain. Or make sure that pilots/captains know not to use rubbing alcohol or other stinky compounds while dealing with passengers. Flying is a hassle enough.