A flight attendant for Southwest Airlines apparently had a very strong reaction to some of his medication while working a flight from Birmingham, AL to Dallas, TX.
During the safety demonstration the man first missed to switch on his microphone, then slurred words and finally fell asleep while suddenly waking up a short moment later.
Some passengers took a video of the situation with a cellphone camera and uploaded it on LiveLeak.
There was a follow up report on Fox News (see here):
In a video posted to LiveLeak, an on-duty flight attendant is seen struggling through the routine with a listless voice until he was saved by a nearby passenger.
“Prior to recording the video, the attendant was speaking into the handset, but had no idea there was no audio, until he pressed the mic button. It was then that the passenger reached for the phone,” commented the clip’s poster who was flying to Dallas from Birmingham.
After appearing to forget part of his speech, the attendant then seemed to doze off with the phone still held up to his ear. He starts awake seconds later and gets up from the seat.
A statement made to and published in the British Boulevard Press paper The Mirror by Southwest Airlines (access here) reads:
“Due to a concern raised by a Customer, we had supervisors meet flight 464 upon arrival into Dallas from Birmingham to assess a Flight Attendant onboard.
“Although the Captain onboard the flight and supervisors on the ground did not witness or detect any unusual behavior, the Employee acknowledged a potential reaction to new medication prescribed by his physician.
“We made the proactive decision to remove the Employee from duty for the remainder of the day.”
I was unable to locate any official press release from Southwest addressing the matter and since these sensationalist British newspapers are everything but trustworthy in my eyes I would take all of what is reported there with a grain (or rather a pound) of salt.
I don’t think this is a laughing matter as the press likes to demonstrate it. The man could have had serious health issues and the passengers have nothing better to do than taking a video of him instead of asking if he is ok, probably alerting another crew member?
Side effects from medication can be severe and if it’s just freshly prescribed who knows what could happen. I only heard good things about Southwest FA’s from my friends who fly the airline back in the US sometimes. Much more positive feedback than I hear over any legacy carrier these days.