Over 100 TAP passengers suffered a double-whammy of bad luck after a “highly intoxicated” pilot attempted to take to the controls of their flight to Lisbon last Friday.
First, the pilot was led away by police and the flight cancelled.
Second was the news that there was no other available flight until this (Monday) morning.
Reports say the 106 flyers were put up in a hotel on Friday night, but it is not immediately clear what measures were put in place to accommodate them for Saturday and Sunday nights.
The ‘flightmare’ began after an airport worker noticed the 40-year-old pilot working for TAP subsidiary Portugalia “walking unsteadily” and “reeking of alcohol”.
The unnamed ‘whistleblower’ alerted airport authorities and police finally boarded the plane to discover the very drunk pilot in the cockpit.
The man was “removed” in front of the surprised waiting passengers and has since been remanded on €10,000 bail with his licence suspended.
TAP has meantime promised an internal inquiry, and apologised for the inconvenience caused.
The story did the rounds of the world’s media over the weekend with various commentators suggesting “this is happening more and more these days”.