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Flight attendant fired for allegedly being drunk during flight from Chicago to South Bend

Passengers aboard the flight told authorities they felt “scared for their lives” when they noticed Julianne March stumbling around the plane.

O’Hare International Airport, where members of Iran’s national volleyball team were delayed up to four hours Sunday, sparking a diplomatic complaint.
The Aug. 2 flight from O’Hare International Airport to South Bend International Airport left some passengers feeling “scared for their lives,” according to charging documents.
File photo

A flight attendant is looking for a new job after flying the friendly skies from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana, while allegedly drunk.

Julianne March, 49, was charged Thursday with public intoxication, a misdemeanor, by St. Joseph County authorities in Indiana, according to charging documents.

On Aug. 2, passengers onboard the United Airlines-owned Air Wisconsin flight noticed March acting oddly, charging documents say. Some passengers thought she was drunk, while others worried she was having a medical issue or even a stroke. Passengers later told authorities that March’s condition left them feeling “scared for their lives.”

Aaron Scherb, a passenger on the flight who tweeted about the incident, wrote that March could not make it through the security announcement and seemed unable to stand or walk without stumbling.

When the plane finally landed in South Bend, St. Joseph County Airport Authority officers boarded the plane and found March sitting down, charging documents say. She started crying and at first refused to stand. Officers asked her where she thought she was, and March allegedly answered, “Chicago.” When she did, March needed to hold on to a seat to steady herself.

Officers observed March’s bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, poor balance and the smell of alcohol on her breath, charging documents say. They did not believe she had a medical emergency. After verbally agreeing to and later refusing a breathalyzer test, March was transported to St. Joseph County Jail. On the way, she told the transporting officer than she had taken two vodka “shooters” before going to work that morning.

March later consented to a breathalyzer test, and her blood-alcohol reading was 0.204. She was released on Aug. 3, and charged with a misdemeanor Thursday.

Julianne March mug shot
Julianne March
St. Joseph County Jail

Air Wisconsin confirmed March has been fired, and a spokesperson for the company said it will continue to cooperate with local authorities and assist them as necessary.

March’s next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28.