Airline passengers accuse crew of being drunk

KENNER, LA (WAFB) - While thousands of people were celebrating in downtown New Orleans, about 100 passengers at Louis Armstrong International Airport became stuck in the area overnight.

The airline blamed parade traffic for the delay, but some passengers believe there was another reason.

"We were standing around, unsure whether to be on the plane or not," said Paul Childs, who lives in Los Angeles. "Some people had gotten off already and then we decided, 'Okay, we'll sit down there,' and then I heard other passengers saying, 'Well, we don't feel comfortable with this. We want you to take a breathalyzer test.' And then I saw the pilot stand up and said, 'We're done. Call United. We don't like these allegations. We're not flying.'"

The plane was headed to Los Angeles. Passengers said the pilot was more than two-and-a-half hours late. They added a passenger, who is also a pilot, called 911 concerned that the United Airlines crew was drunk. Passengers used their mobile phones to take pictures of a Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputy interviewing passengers about the complaint.

A United Airlines spokesperson said the plane didn't take off because the crew worked too many hours, so it was not allowed to fly.

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