British Airways flight attendants claimed they were mugged in Brazil, leading to a flight cancellation that stranded hundreds of passengers and cost the company thousands of dollars. Turns out they may have simply engaged in a night of drinking and debauchery.
Brazilian Police Claim British Airways Feigned Robbery To Avoid Accountability For Night Of Drinking And Drug Use
BA248 from Rio de Janeiro (GIG) to London (LHR) was canceled on September 6, 2023 after three crew members reported they were robbed…twice. According to initial reports, the crew members were taken by taxi to a gas station in Penha, a rough area of Rio’s North Zone, where they were robbed.
One of their phones was hidden and they used that to summon an Uber driver. But while enroute to the hotel, they were robbed again by a guy on a motorcycle and the last phone was taken.
Meanwhile, a third British Airways cabin crew member claimed he was out for a drink in Pedra do Sal, went to use the bathroom, and woke up on the street unaware of what had happened.
Police have now conducted an investigation using surveillance camera footage and local interviews and concluded that all three were lying per local media outlet G1. Instead, police allege the flight attendants had engaged in a night of heavy drinking and drug use and tried to cover it up by claiming they had been robbed in order to protect their jobs.
Surveillance camera shows two of the flight attendants talking and enjoying drinks for two hours in the middle of the night in the area where they claimed they were mugged and phones were stolen. This happened after the alleged incident.
Investigators in Brazil claim that while one of their phones was stolen, they were never mugged.
Meanwhile, the third British Airways cabin crew member apparently drank so heavily he blacked out and was revived by a Good Samaritan, a construction worker who reported the flight attendant had a white substance resembling cocaine with him.
Danielle Bullus, an assistant police chief, claimed:
“The investigation shows that they didn’t tell the truth. They didn’t tell what actually happened that morning. They created these stories to try to probably justify inappropriate behavior outside the company’s rules. But we found that there was a theft of a cell phone of the duo that was in Vaz Lobo.”
Patricia Alemany, Head of the Special Tourism Support Police, claimed:
“What is surprising is how a crew that has such an important role spends the whole night drinking and using drugs, knowing that the next day they would have the responsibility of taking care of dozens of people who would travel for hours.”
British Airways has said this matter is a police matter, but oddly added that these three were not scheduled to work the flight to London on September 6th (though failed to explain, then, why it was canceled).
After the events in South Africa in which a pilot was accused of snorting cocaine off the chest of a prostitute after a drug and alcohol-fueled evening, I would have thought crew members would show a bit more restraint, but according to Brazilian police, three flight attendants lied about being robbed and mugged to cover up a night of heavy drinking and drug use.
The three cabin crew members are now back in London…but may soon be be persona non grata in Brazil.
image: released by police