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Japan Airlines Flight From Dallas Canceled After Pilot’s Drunken and Rowdy Behavior at Crew Layover Hotel

Japan Airlines Flight From Dallas Canceled After Pilot’s Drunken and Rowdy Behavior at Crew Layover Hotel

a white airplane on a runway

Japan Airlines was forced to cancel a flight from Dallas Fort Worth to Tokyo Haneda last week due to the Captain’s drunk and rowdy behavior in the crew layover hotel, local media have reported.

Flight JL11 was due to depart Dallas at 11:05 am on April 24, with 157 passengers booked to fly on the 12-hour flight to Tokyo, but the flight never went ahead as planned.

Japan Airlines was forced to apologize to customers after canceling the flight at the last minute so that it could check on the “physical and mental conditions” of the Captain. It is understood that the pilot was stood down from his duties and a replacement Captain had to be flown out to Dallas to operate the return flight.

The incident unfolded on Monday after the crew had arrived in Dallas following an overnight flight from Tokyo. Around 6 pm, the Captain met up with other crew members at a restaurant close to the crew hotel, where he started drinking.

After returning to the hotel, the Captain continued drinking but when things started to get rowdy, hotel staff warned the crew about their behavior.

The warning didn’t, however, stop the 49-year-old Captain from continuing to drink, and other guests started to complain about him making noise in his room in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Hotel staff eventually called the police, and the Captain reportedly received a warning around 2 am.

Matt’s take

This is an interesting case because the Captain wasn’t due to operate the return flight to Tokyo for more than 24 hours, so the risk of him being over the prescribed alcohol limit for pilots was pretty negligible.

In the United States, commercial airline pilots are not allowed to consume any alcohol within eight hours of flying and must have an alcohol concentration of less than 0.04 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood.

Japan Airlines has slightly stricter rules and forbids its own pilots from flying within 12 hours of operating a flight, although for a short time, the carrier doubled the cut-off time to 24 hours.

That decision followed the imprisonment of a Japan Airlines First Officer in the United Kingdom in 2018 after he tried to cheat a pre-flight alcohol test at the company’s offices at Heathrow Airport.

42-year-old First Officer Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was imprisoned for 10 months after it was revealed that he had drunk two bottles of wine and over a litre and a half of beer the night before he was due to work sending him well over the legal limit.

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