Alaska Airlines Pilot Blew a .142 After Flying Two Segments, Isn’t Charged for 18 Months

    “Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth.” George Burns

An Alaska Airlines pilot is charged with piloting two flights with a blood alcohol level over .13 in 2014. Just as shocking, it took 18 months for him to be charged.

On the day in question, [David Hans] Arntson flew from San Diego to Portland, and then from Portland to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. When he landed at John Wayne, the airline selected Arntson for a random drug and alcohol test.

Prosecutors say an airline technician performed two tests on Arntson, and both were over the legal limit. The pilot had a blood alcohol concentration of .134 and .142, according to prosecutors.

What the story didn’t say is that Arntson’s flights were supposed to land and take off from Seattle. Kidding.

He was immediately removed from flying, and later retired. Though if this was truly a random test, not someone noticing that the captain had been trying to pick up the autopilot on Tinder, then the scariest thing perhaps is to imagine how many times he flew without getting flagged for a test.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. WHAT is scary is that this is the second incident with AS flight crews, one landing on the taxiway at SEA and now this!

    SO what is really going on at AS? Years ago they went through a maintenance issue so is this another internal issue that has come to light ? Sounds like they need to get their collective hands around this ver quickly.

    That coupled with all the phantom reward inventory is bothersome to say the least.

  2. “What the story didn’t say is that Arntson’s flights were supposed to land and take off from Seattle. Kidding.”

    Absolutely hilarious Gary. And what a great topic to kid about.

    Do you also stand outside of childrens hospitals and makes jokes as well?

  3. Probably a functioning alcoholic. The random screenings are obviously needed, and obviously work. To think of flying a plane while intoxicated is insane.

  4. James – if your mother, father, wife, husband, or children was on one of those flights would you consider it a topic to joke about?

    It’s poor taste.

  5. Yeah, trying to not be snarky but of all the subjects for jokes this probably isn’t one of them.

  6. Yeah. Have to agree that this is a story where joking is in pretty poor taste. Maybe just stick to the facts here.

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