A flight attendant in the US was so drunk aboard an aircraft that passengers were “scared for their lives”, it is alleged.

Julianne March, the lone cabin crew member on the United Express flight from Chicago to South Bend, Indiana, was “so gone” that she was slurring, could hardly stand and passed out before take-off, it is claimed.

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The 49-year-old, from Wisconsin, was arrested after the plane touched down on 2 August. She is said to have told officers that she had two vodka shots before flying.

A breathalyser test found she was five times over the legal limit for flight attendants, according to court documents.

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March has now been charged with public intoxication and is due in court at the end of the month.

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She has also been sacked by Air Wisconsin, which operates as a regional airline for United and United Express.

A charging document filed by prosecutors said March had “endangered the life of another person, to wit: the passengers on the flight.”

Court papers state that passengers became “scared for their lives” due to March’s apparent condition.

Writing on Twitter at the time, passenger Aaron Scherb said that the “flight attendant appears to be quite drunk”.

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He added: “She is slurring her speech (she couldn’t make it through the security announcement), couldn’t walk straight/was bumping into everyone in the aisle, and kept dropping things.”

Another passenger, Yvette McDowell, wrote on Facebook that the attendant was “high or drunk”, noting that “she was so far gone she could barely speak or stand”.

Ms McDowell added: “She eventually fell asleep. We didn’t get any safety instructions or introduction. The pilot barely said anything at all.”

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