Japan Airlines cancels Tokyo flight after pilot gets drunk in Dallas

A Japan Airlines flight from Dallas to Tokyo was cancelled last week after its captain got drunk at a hotel bar in an incident involving the police.

The 157 passengers of the flight were later transferred to an American Airlines flight.

The unnamed 49-year-old captain started drinking as he dined with fellow crew members at a restaurant after landing his flight from Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Monday, the airline said. He continued partying in a lounge of his hotel and later his room, despite staff warning him against disruptive behaviour.

At round 2am on Tuesday, hotel staff called police as the pilot continued to make noise and disturb other guests.

Though the pilot did not violate Japan Airlines’ guidelines against drinking within 12 hours of boarding, he was prohibited from flying as a precautionary measure.

The airline said it cancelled the flight to check the physical and mental condition of the captain and needed time to arrange for his replacement, reported Japan Times.

The airline subsequently apologised to passengers for the inconvenience caused to them by the pilot’s “inappropriate behaviour”.

In March, a Delta Airlines pilot was sentenced to 10 months in prison after he reported drunk to duty at Scotland’s Edinburgh airport.

The American pilot, Lawrence Russell Jr, 63, was scheduled to fly to New York’s JFK airport on 16 June 2023. He was barred from flying after a test found his blood alcohol exceeded the legal limit and authorities found two bottles of Jägermeister liqueur in his bag.