Flight delayed after passenger prompts cabin crew drugs tests
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A flight was delayed for six hours this weekend after a passenger asked whether the staff had been partying too hard - prompting the airline to administer drug tests on the cabin crew.
The US Airways flight 2276 was supposed to depart from Des Moines Airport for Charlotte at 7am, but was delayed as the crew's previous flight had got in late, and they needed the required rest.
When holidaymakers were boarding at around 9am, passenger Glen Clark overheard another man ask the crew if the delay was because they'd partied too hard.
Clark told the Des Moines Register: "He said it jokingly, and I didn't really think much of it, personally."
When they got on the flight, the pilot made an announcement that the crew would be taking a drug test because of what the passenger said.
They 70 passengers on board were then made to wait for an hour and a half before being asked to deplane while the tests were administered.
According to Who TV, one passenger, Jim McClelland, got so fed up of waiting he went to ask the pilot what was happening, and recorded a conversation on his iPhone that went: "The company is going to require us to get drug tested. It`s one of these things where if someone makes a comment, makes an accusation... God forbid something happened.
"Everybody in the station is fairly insistent about it. My thought is, `Come up here and smell my breath. If we have problems, (we`ll) get off. Otherwise, we`re going."
McClelland explained: "You know, the drug test information didn't come until, you know, we were on there at least an hour and that's when I went up there and said, 'hey we'd like some information in the back of the plane.' Isn't that fair to say something?"
The crew passed the drug test and the flight took after just after 1pm, six hours after the original flight time, and without the man who made the partying comment.
Tina Swail, spokeswoman for US Airways, confirmed the flight was originally delayed for two hours after the previous inbound flight arrived late.
Swail also confirmed the reason for the further delays, adding: "Any accusation of this sort is taken very seriously and out of an abundance of caution the crew was administered a drug test."
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