British Airways pilot Mike Beaton was fired after a flight attendant accused him of consuming alcohol and drugs before boarding a 12-hour flight. Beaton returned as a passenger the following day from Johannesburg, South Africa, to London, United Kingdom. Local media reported that a test later found drugs in his system.
'I've been a very naughty boy'
Beaton bragged about his substance use in a series of messages to his partner, which were later widely reported in the local press. In them, the pilot from Devon, United Kingdom, admits to having had several drinks and then ending up "somehow" in a local's apartment, accompanied by two female tourists.
"I’ve lost my shirt somewhere and one of the local lads produces a plate with a few lines of coke." After a "debate" about whose chest he should place drugs on, "I ended up snorting coke of[f] a girl’s t**s in Joburg."
He then spent the night with one of the two tourists. He also stated that afterwards he "was so f** I couldn’t even lift my head until gone 2."
British Airways pilot, Mike Beaton, fired after admitting to using cocaine less than 24 hours before a scheduled flight.
He was reported by a colleague and tested positive for drugs. The scandalous night led to flight cancellations, costing the airline £100,000. pic.twitter.com/dHekeQvZLK
— BoreCure (@CureBore) September 27, 2023
Anger and shock at British Airways
Airline sources told The Telegraph that they were "in shock." They did not understand, they said, how Beaton acted that way after being "trained rigorously," as any a first officer. "Their job is to protect passengers’ safety, and this exhibited the exact opposite of that."
According to the same report, British Airways sent a letter to its employees reminding them that they had a zero-tolerance policy against illegal activity. Likewise, the company claimed to understand how "upset, angry and disappointed" the incident had made its employees and emphasized the importance of reporting any behavior in violation of company policy.
The Civil Aviation Authority withdrew Beaton's medical, so, for now, he will not be able to fly, according to The Sun.