Cynthia Angel, 51, has a rather startling allegation against Delta Airlines. After she smelled what she (and she claims other passengers) thought was alcohol on the breath of a pilot, she mentioned it to a flight attendant. She says she was then thrown off the flight back to her home in Southern California.
Angel says she was flying home from Atlanta when she and other passengers asked the pilot about a delay. She says that another passenger raised the concern that the pilot smelled of alcohol. Once on board, she reported it to the flight attendant on Delta Airlines Flight 2355. It turned out that she was speaking to the pilot.
After reporting the concern to the flight attendant, she was asked to go into the cockpit where she was told that the pilot had not been drinking. She said that she was satisfied with the explanation and went back to her seat.
Twenty minutes later, she said that a Delta manager and a colleague came on to the flight and asked her to gather her things and accompany them off the plane. She was taken to an office and told again that the pilot had tested negatively for alcohol. Now here is the kicker: “They told me they take these accusations very seriously and that the captain and his crew did not want me on his flight.”
She was given meal and hotel vouchers and told to come back the next day to take another flight to Los Angeles.
If this account is accurate, it is an astonishing policy that a pilot can toss a passenger who simply raised a concern about his sobriety. Presumably, Delta wants passengers to raise such concerns. However, this approach would create a disincentive for any passenger to raise such a concern and risk being grounded for a full day.