EasyJet cabin crew member was so drunk she needed escorting off plane

An easyjet plane
An easyjet crew member was so drunk she needed escorting off the plane by police (Picture: Rex Features)

An easyJet crew member was arrested and escorted off a plane after allegedly being drunk on duty during a two-and-a-half-hour flight.

Police were sent to the plane to arrest Julie Birkett, 48, after the pilot alerted air traffic control to her behaviour shortly before landing at Newcastle Airport.

She has been sacked by the airline and charged with performing an aviation function whilst unfit through drink.

The flight set off from Alicante-Elche Airport in Spain just before 11.40pm local time and arrived into Newcastle Airport at around 1.10am Saturday.

Birkett, from Huddersfield, is due to appear before magistrates in North Tyneside on September 4.

A spokesperson for easyJet said they could not comment on an on-going investigation but stressed they had a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.

The spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that flight EZY6420 from Alicante to Newcastle was met by police at the request of the captain.

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‘A crew member was arrested, subsequently charged and no longer works for easyJet.

‘As this is a police matter we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

‘easyJet has a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol and our rules and regulations are very clear. The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: ‘In the early hours of Saturday, police were contacted by Air Traffic Control at Newcastle Airport who reported a cabin crew member on an incoming flight was believed to have been under the influence of alcohol.’

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