Friday, August 6, 2010

Accused of Drinking - Don't do it

This story came out a few days ago and I can’t believe what I read. Some of the statements are so unbelievable that I have to comment. A woman, Cynthia Angel, on a Delta flight thought she smelled alcohol on the pilot when he talked to her and three other passengers. This concerned their delay in departure. After the pilot walked away the four passengers all thought he had an alcoholic odor. The woman told a flight attendant about this and as none of the other passengers spoke up or defended this woman all that she said was hearsay evidence. But the pilot was checked and found to be safe. Staff talked to the woman but not to the others. Why they were not approached is not surprising, as you can’t ask someone what they may have said to others. But none of then ever offered testimony. The woman was eventually asked to leave the plane and take another flight. Apparently the pilot, who was also the captain order her off the plane. She claims that she was told that Delta takes these accusations seriously.

Attorney Mark Silverman was interviewed by NBC for their report and he said: "She was just trying to be a good citizen. You'd think Delta would thank her for her concern," What he said seems like a common sense reply to what occurred.

What Mr. Ross Aimer, CEO of Aviation Experts said was bull-crap. "Making drinking accusations against pilots is a serious matter," Yes it is. "If you think someone is drunk, you owe it to yourself, your loved ones and other passengers to report it," (Yes you do) said Aimer, who is also a retired United Airlines captain. "However, in this case, because the captain had not been drinking, Delta made the right decision by asking her to leave the plane." Bull-Crap. Mr. Angel had good intentions. It is not like she pretended to have a bomb in her purse.

Let’s look at it this way. Who in his or her right mind would ever accuse anyone in an airline uniform of being drunk? If Ms. Angel did the right thing why was she reprimanded? The pilot being proven not to be drunk is not the issue. The issue is that someone saw something that could have led to a bad event and did something about it. I don’t think she out and out accused the pilot of being drunk. She thought something was suspicious. I know that I am mincing words here but the flight attendant could have said talked to the pilot and determined if there was an alcohol smell. I would like to say that if he made it on the plane he was ok. But I have seen in the news how drunken pilots have been taken off of planes. You don’t retaliate against someone based on the outcome of an investigation like this occurrence.

Let me just say this; if I ever see a drunk speeding through a school zone at 3 pm, don’t expect me to call the police. I wouldn’t want to get myself in trouble. After all, drinking and driving is a serious matter. I may have my license suspended if I am wrong.

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