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. 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

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
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.