A flight attendant was charged with criminal public intoxication after showing up for work so drunk that passengers say they had to fasten her seat belt. Passengers on the Aug. 2 United Express flight from Chicago to South Bend, which was operated by Air Wisconsin, say 49-year-old Julianne March bumped into seats and passengers during the pre-flight check, slurred her words when she tried to make the security announcement, then appeared to pass out in a jump seat. According to a criminal complaint, officers boarded the flight when it landed and found that March, the flight's sole attendant, didn't even know what city she was in. A Breathalyzer test found a level of 0.204, five times the legal limit for flight attendants. March told police that she had consumed around two vodka shooters that morning, WISN reports.
Passenger Aaron Scherb tells ABC that he alerted one of the pilots to March's condition and was told they were handling it. He says after he contacted United, he was offered a refund and a $500 voucher, which he feels is insufficient because the "safety and well-being of all 50 passengers on that flight was jeopardized." He adds however, that he hopes March isn't fired. "I would hope that United Airlines and Air Wisconsin treat this person as an employee, not as an expendable commodity, and that they will help her get treatment for addiction, if that's in fact what she suffers from," he says. Air Wisconsin, however, says March is no longer an employee. A source tells ABC that she had only been on the job for a few months and was fired for failing to complete her probationary period. (In 2015, authorities found that the pilot, co-pilot, and two out of three flight attendants on a flight from Oslo were over the legal limit.)