JAL Flight Attendant Drank Bottle of Champagne In-Flight, Investigation Reveals

Dec 30, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

An internal investigation conducted by Japan Airlines, the second largest airline in Japan, concluded that a flight attendant on a recent flight who failed two breathalyzer tests had consumed champagne while on duty during a flight. This incident, which occurred earlier this month on a flight from Tokyo to Honolulu, is one of three high-profile incidents involving JAL crew members being intoxicated while on duty in the past few months. In response to the recent incidents involving intoxicated crew members, JAL will take a variety of steps to ensure these incidents do not happen again.

The incident was initially reported as having been the result of the flight attendant using mouthwash multiple times during the flight. A report from The Japan Times noted that three additional crew members reported smelling alcohol on the flight attendant’s breath and four crew members reported that the flight attendant was acting unusual during the flight. The flight attendant is reported to have taken a breathalyzer test prior to the flight’s departure with the test turning up negative. She later tested positive for alcohol consumption in two different breathalyzer tests in-flight, with readings ranging from 0.10 to 0.15 mg of alcohol per liter of blood. While there is no nationally set legal limit for on-duty flight crew in Japan, airlines set these limits independently. As a result of testing positive for alcohol consumption in-flight, the flight attendant was removed from duty for the remainder of the flight.

And Champagne.
Champagne served onboard a Japan Airlines flight in Business Class

While the flight attendant claimed she tested positive for alcohol consumption due to the use of mouthwash during the flight, an internal investigation found an “unserved” bottle of champagne in one of the galleys. The internal report notes that the empty 200ml bottle of champagne is typically reserved for premium economy passengers and was not served in-flight. The empty bottle combined with the flight attendant’s blood-alcohol level and reports from other crew members led to the conclusion that the flight attendant had indeed consumed alcohol while on-duty. The report also notes that the flight attendant had likely consumed alcohol while on-duty during a flight in November of 2017.

The incident is the second in just three months involving on-duty JAL crew members testing positive for alcohol consumption. The most serious incident took place in late October when a pilot scheduled to work a flight between London-Heathrow (LHR) and Tokyo-Haneda (HND) failed a breathalyzer test just 50 minutes prior to departure. The breathalyzer test found that the pilot was 10x over the legal limit in the UK. The flight to Tokyo was delayed and the pilot was removed from service. He pled guilty to being intoxicated while attempting to fly a commercial aircraft and is serving a 10-month prison sentence.

Japan Airlines has responded to the recent incidents with the heads of the airline’s cabin attendants division taking salary deductions for one month. Additionally, Japan Airlines requested at an end-of-the-year party that all of its employees refrain from drinking for the rest of the year.

While encouraging its employees not to consume alcohol for the next few days might not seem that significant, Japan’s transport ministry has sent a business improvement order to Japan Airlines, the airline’s first improvement order since 2005. Japan Airlines and other Japanese-based airlines have recently implemented mandatory alcohol tests and new legal limits.

H/T: The Independent

Featured image by EQRoy / Shutterstock

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.