LEXINGTON, Ky. – A flight attendant appeared in court Monday to answer charges she was drinking alcohol on the job and told a captain "You're dead" as she was removed from the plane.
Public safety officers at Blue Grass Airport reported Sarah Mills, 26, threatened the Atlantic Southeast Airlines captain Sunday afternoon. Court documents said she smelled heavily of alcohol and admitted drinking whiskey onboard.
Mills' driver's license lists her residence as Union, Mo., though she told officers she now lives in Atlanta. She was being held Monday at Fayette County Detention Center on a $350 bond following her arraignment on terroristic threatening and public alcohol intoxication. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Court records say a breath test found her blood alcohol level was .032 — lower than Kentucky's legal limit of .08 to operate a motor vehicle. She refused blood and urine tests, the court records said.
It was not immediately clear whether Mills had an attorney.
Besides the criminal charges, Mills faces a civil review by the Federal Aviation Administration on charges of being a crew member of an airplane while drunk. Kathleen Bergen, public affairs manager for the FAA's Southern region, said she could not be jailed on that charge but that the agency is reviewing the matter.
"We're investigating to determine what the circumstances were and whether any of the federal aviation regulations were violated," Bergen said.
Delta officials canceled the Sunday flight to Atlanta because there weren't enough crew members, but passengers were given the option to board other flights, said Kate Modolo, spokeswoman for Atlantic Southeast Airlines, the carrier operating the Delta flight.
"We haven't encountered this particular situation before," Modolo said. "Fortunately, we have more than 900 flight attendants who perform their duties at an extremely high level every day with the safety and best interest of passengers at the top of their mind."