Passengers accuse LIAT pilot of smelling of alcohol; flight canceled

A LIAT flight from Barbados to St. Vincent was canceled on Tuesday night after passengers accused the pilot of smelling of alcohol.

Passengers had already boarded the already-delayed flight when allegation was made around 10 pm, a passenger told iWitness News.

“When we were already on the plane, a passenger made an accusation. She said she smelled alcohol on the pilot. The pilot had just passed in the aisle and she said she smelled alcohol on the pilot. And then the other passengers were like, ‘yes, we smelled alcohol,'” the passenger told iWitness News.


Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of Inc. All comments are approved by before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.


    December 16, 2016

    Here we go again, its LIAT fault, blame the pilot, blame the woman. Here are my questions: Why was the pilot so defensive? If it was simply wet wipes which from my memory don’t smell of alcohol, hand sanitizers sometimes do. Firstly he represents the company, therefore he’s responsibility is to respond in the best interest of LIAT while being courteous to the customer. Denying it, insulting the passenger and storming off doesn’t help anyone.
    Secondly, if he was drinking, he could play it down and ask the co-pilot to go ahead and fly the plane or ask for another pilot to fly.
    Thirdly, why was the co-pilot so defensive and insulting of the passenger? Why was the passenger removed from the flight? If she has an issue and others voiced it, it should have been addressed.

    LIAT needs to go back to the drawing board on customer service. A valid issue was raised and defended with a good point. These people have family and would not want to be featured on major news as victims of a…

  2. Jim Lynch
    December 16, 2016

    The Chairman of LIALPA himself advised me that the pilot subsequently went directly to the Police in Barbados to be tested, but they did not have any of the appropriate the equipment so he immediately went to a private lab and voluntarily did urine and blood tests. Both were negative.

    As the pilot originally claimed, the smell was actually from the alcohol on the “wet-wipe” he had just used – it was still on his hands.

    In this case the passenger put 2 and 2 together and got 2,384,375.

    There was no valid reason for the pilot to be rude, but after he had explained himself nor was there valid reason for the passenger to continue expounding about a drunk pilot.

    IMHO the correct action was taken – for him to continue the flight would have resulted in possible termination, since by the time the airline could impose a urine and blood test there would have been no evidence. And it is unreasonable to expect a professional to spend the rest of his career with unproven allegations…

    • Truth Be Told
      December 20, 2016

      Pleased that he did that to clear his good name and to retain his job and career.
      There are some people, you should not let them see you spit. They will create a scandal.
      This person obviously does not know the difference between the real alcohol and the smell of the type of alcohol on the wipes.

  3. Carrotop
    December 16, 2016

    If the pilot had not been drinking, the persons who accused him should be charged.

    • Truth Be Told
      December 20, 2016

      They should have made her smell a bottle/glass of liquor and a similar wipe that he used and asked her which of the smells she detected on the pilot.

  4. December 16, 2016

    His pilot license should be taken from him as quick as possible;people are not dolls.

    December 16, 2016

    Them people on a rampage for LIAT. They will do anything at all costs to bring the Airline down. If it was a white person Airline they wouldn’t fuss. I wonder if Dominicans will take boats if LIAT stop fly because I know Air Caraibes and Antilles would not operate on a daily basis.

    • December 16, 2016

      Would you let a black person airline fly with an intoxicated black pilot because it is a black person airline?

      This is racism of the worst kind. You would be putting human lives at risk. It suggests that color is what matters and is more important than life. So if the drunk pilot is black he should be allowed to fly :?:

      You are implying if a white person complains about a drunk black pilot he (she) is racist :?:

      Is it true that the LIAT crew members defended the pilot and were rude with the passengers who complained? If so it looks like they condoned his behavior. Perhaps they knew this is what the airline would want.

      This calls for an investigation. Some feel LIAT ought to have its license pulled.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

      • Truth Be Told
        December 20, 2016

        If there is one conversation I detest is people saying about black and white especially in that manner. They never seem to let go of this black this and that. People are people.
        There are some people who open their mouths for anything and are scandalous. Ignorance and being loud-mouthed could do it. They talk without verifying or asking a question. They simply find faults and accuse. They do very little thinking, if none at all. I observe there is also a lot of that on this Website.

    • sakway gwo bouden
      December 17, 2016

      one ting some people just doh have no brain eh! Pilot smelling alcohol, which part of that you caar understand? You understand what could happen if a drunk pilot loose control of a plane? Take a minute to think about that, lets see if your brain have it basic functionality!

    December 15, 2016

    I have it on considerable authority that the smell in question was not alcohol.

    It was the stench of corruption emanating from a passenger who was an agent for our CBI passport sales.

    That’s a fact.

  7. Daughter of the soil
    December 15, 2016

    If that was our dear pilots fagan and athill things would have been dealt with differently .

  8. December 15, 2016

    Making an accusation against an individual that could possibly lead to loss of employment is a serious business. However better to be safe than sorry. The question is could the passenger have approached the situation differently, not many options as I see it.

    • Rowrowbaby
      December 18, 2016

      She should have asked the pilot to speak to him privately and walk to the cockpit explain to him that she smelt alcohol when he passed and would feel safer if he took a breath test.

  9. The Truth Be Told
    December 15, 2016

    If he was not drunk, I consider the woman as, one fool makes many fools. The others heard her say he smells of liquor and they echoed her words. Some people could be loud. Her words and that of the others disrupted the pilot’s frame of mind. He did the correct thing not to fly the plane. He also did not feel comfortable flying them. If he was not drunk, his union will protect him.
    I had to smile at what the co-pilot asked her, “If this is her first time flying.” What do you know? That was some scene, annoying for the plot and co-plot. Do you think it could make a good movie? :lol:
    The hand cleanser could contain some sort of alcohol. Some of those hand cleansers have a strong smell. I hardly use hand cleansers unless I am out. Once my hands are washed, I use a hand lotion or cream.
    This was a good story for the Media. :lol:

  10. Zandoli
    December 15, 2016

    These LIAT pilots who earn next to nothing want to berate and humiliate passengers?

    What I did not read was the action taken by the authorities in Barbados. That pilot should have been pulled in and given a breath test.

    An how dare the LIAT manager defending the pilot. She should have insisted he take a breath test.

  11. December 15, 2016

    As a frequent flier this news article is meaningful to me.

    We have had several recent cases in Canada where a pilot was removed from a plane before take off.

    The passengers did the right thing to report the pilot and the airline authorities did the only right thing to
    to remove him. We hope passengers and customers will be aware of possible risks and quickly report any suspicious activity on a plane or in airport.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

    • December 16, 2016


      It looks like LIAT does not want potential problems reported.

      What are our options :?: Is there another airline serving Dominica?

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  12. Realistic One
    December 15, 2016

    Like I have said before, and will say again, LIAT staff are out of control! That entire situation was mishandled by LIAT personnel who have no clue about customer service. Why the hell did he have to wave the wet wipe in the woman’s face? Why did the pilot have to insult the woman in front of other passengers?


    Yes we need LIAT’s service however, if the airline goes under, most if not all the employees will be jobless.
    Perhaps it is worth a try to make these bullies more humble.

    • The Truth Be Told
      December 15, 2016

      Granted, he should not have said anything to her and retaliated in that manner. However, it is my feeling both the pilot and co-pilot were annoyed and embarrassed by this charade. The pilot also felt insulted and they tried to prove a point.
      The reaction of the pilot and co-pilot are typically West Indian as all others who comment on this Website, some of whom also throw words at others, even though they do not know them and use this Website as a sounding board.
      Where the passenger is concerned, there was one way of handling it diplomatically. This was to ask the pilot about it quietly; not shout it out for all to hear. Or she could have informed the air hostess who would go to the pilot to ascertain from him if he was drinking. How many know how to handle a situation discreetly? He should have gone further and made her smell his breathe. :lol:
      I suppose LIAT executive/manager decided what to do about these conversations and actions.

    • doctor
      December 15, 2016

      those idiot passengers needed to be put in place..they were trying to ruin the mans reputation and cost him his job with such unfounded accussations. she needed to be shamed.

      December 16, 2016

      LIAT Passengers are out of control and fresh and forward

      • December 18, 2016

        Do you think passengers on another airline would tolerate this?

        The problem did not come from the passengers.

        The most offensive thing is those who want to make it a race issue. Of course people are picking on LIAT because it is a “black person” airline. Like if it was a white airline nothing would have been said.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill (International Evangelist)

      • January 1, 2017

        They are not out of control.

        They are just fed up with rotten service and dangerous goings on.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. 8)

    • DA girl
      December 16, 2016

      I’m sure there’s an investor ready to take control and show them how a commercial airline should be’s time to privatize the damn thing

      • Jim Lynch
        December 16, 2016

        The Marxist Comrade is not about to let anyone else have control over his pet toy. Didn’t you see him “put a alIAT” on his still unopen Argyle with 1/3 of the runway gaping open for culverts to be installed? No, the day Ralphie loses control over LIAT is the day the bailiffs put the chains and locks on all of the doors system-wide, the airplanes are repossessed by the CDB, and LIAT ceases to exist.

      • Me
        December 16, 2016

        Who would want to buy it? Cheaper to let it go bankrupt and buy any assets from the liquidator.

  13. Big Bannan
    December 15, 2016

    Maybe we should just make LIAT a Dominica airline exclusively. Dominicans are probably the only nation that wouldn’t see a problem with that, think it’s ok to be 10 minutes late too. .Did you know the most successful liquor shop on the island is INSIDE the police headquarters ? How often do you see our policemen at a party drunk with a firearm on their side? And everyone ignores that. We are simply an oblivious people.

  14. December 15, 2016

    Here we go again with LIAT people stop traveling with them.

    • December 17, 2016

      There have been enough complaints now to yank their license.

      This one is a security/safety issue. Not only is there reason to believe the pilot was under the influence, and the co-pilot sided him, the manager covered for him, and also insulted the passengers.

      Here have been too many cases of planes exploding, dropping from the sky or going missing. There have been reports of suicidal pilots. I’m getting tired of hearing of them searching for the “black box”. People are paying for a safe trip. Even if there is no guilt or danger involved people deserve peace of mind. This
      situation should have been investigated immediately. Lives should never be put at risk. The passengers did
      not deserve to be dealt with rudely for expressing a concern for their safety.

      I fly to and in the Caribbean. Otherwise I would not be writing. But I will never fly this airline.

      Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

  15. December 15, 2016

    That’s going on all the time I work at a hotel room attendant there’re empty rum bottles in the garbage ice bucket with ice and juice to mix it that’s no surprise

    • The Truth Be Told
      December 15, 2016

      It is a hotel which also receives guests. Do you know who drank the liquor? After the guests and/or pilots (if so) vacate the room, why is the garbage not emptied?

    • Troll Antigua
      December 17, 2016

      What a BIG lie, LIAT dosen’t over night pilots in Dominica you fool.

      • Me
        December 19, 2016

        Who said that happened in Dominica? who is foolish?

  16. Sing
    December 15, 2016

    Procedures, proceedures, procedures…what is the process if such a thing happens?
    What does the captain do?
    How can the pilot just leave the plane and go outside?
    Are we interested in whether this was true or not?
    Why was there no arrest for interrupting the flight?
    When is the inquiry?
    Who paid for the overnighting and the flight the next day?
    Can this happen again?
    Who is covering for whom?

  17. December 15, 2016

    Understandable. If I had to fly on LIAT I’d want to get drunk first too.

    • The Truth Be Told
      December 15, 2016

      :lol: :lol: :lol:
      Someone gave you thumbs down. This was not me. At least you do not have to pilot the plane. Just do not look intoxicated. Otherwise you will be taken out of the plane.
      Recall in previous years those charter flights allowed their passengers to drink. Most of that is discontinued since some would disembark the plane in a drunken stupor. Some passengers, especially the men drank too much.

    • nicole
      December 15, 2016

      Ha ha…Funny

  18. Outsider Looking In
    December 15, 2016

    All the Pilot had to do to satisfy the passenger was when the accusation was made, tell the passengers he had just used some wet wipes, show it to them and I believe that would have satisfied everyone. Instead, he played BOSS and even got support from his co-pilot who saw the need to insult passengers. Yes, if you ask me was rude on their part. Passengers pay pilots salaries.

    • Sakway Gwo Boudeh
      December 19, 2016

      Awa, I agree with the pilot… he went to breathe testing facilities to get tested. Thats the man bread an butter, he have to protect his best interests. If he didn’t do that, he leave himself open for all kinds of accusations and could risk losing his job.

      The co-pilot sound like he got too emotional with it, but I agree with the pilot!

  19. December 15, 2016

    That woman should be stop from fighting on liat for stopping a flight

    • Realistic One
      December 15, 2016

      @ Goodman. Why??? She probably saved some lives. I wonder how you would have reacted in this situation.

      If you bought that wet wipe story, then I have some swamp land for sale in Florida.

    • Me
      December 15, 2016

      They probably have blacklisted her, idiots.

    • OLI
      December 15, 2016

      If anybody should be stopped from flying on LIAT, it’s you “mr. goodman”, NOT the woman.

  20. December 15, 2016

    Maybe it was Rubing Alcohol. To be certain Liat should give all their pilot, Breathlizer, Test 30minutes before their flight. “O”tolerance, must be maintained. All lives matter.

  21. steven
    December 15, 2016

    A passenger smelled alcohol! Where is the bloody truth. Would it not be safe to say that this passenger was already angry because of a delayed flight? Damn!!! And here goes the media with a bowl containing no source whatsoever. They feed you and as usual, you accept without the meat. Where is the proof. Why was the flight canceled? :twisted:

    • Troll Antigua
      December 17, 2016

      Exactly , passengers are often on a blood hunt for LIAT. They should’ve continued the flight and leave her ass down and all those who protested and charge them for new tickets the next day. No me, I not cancelling my flight for her ass.

  22. TS Erika
    December 15, 2016


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available