Interview Question Scenario About Possibly Drunk Pilot

Hello all,

My question is to the mentors and anyone with relevant experience in interviews with regional or major airlines. One question I have heard is common is “What would you do if you were leaving an overnight at a hotel and you smell alcohol on your captain?” or some variation of that question. Some people have told me that is a little bit of a trick question (Not to be deceptive, but to make you think) and saying that you will refuse to fly or reporting him is the common wisdom, but not necessarily the right course of action.

When I heard the question, I thought that if you are at the hotel, then you tell him he smells like alcohol or if he is showing signs of intoxication get him to remove himself from the flight or call in sick and only take your concern to management if he tries to fly or reports for duty and is visibly intoxicated or hungover.

A friend of mine said at his airline the panel wanted to see honesty, but also that you are not rushing to conclusions. I wonder if I am over thinking this question, but does it really trip up a lot of interviewees?


This is a VERY common interview question (or some variation of it). As your friend said panels want honesty and most are pretty good at playing lie detector. There is no “pat” answer the 2 things that most panels are looking for is a) you’re not going to let this fool fly but also b) you’re not going to try and end their career at that moment. There are tons of answers online so I’m not going to add to it. Again it’s really best to be honest and tell them what you would do and why.


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Like Adam said, just answer it honestly, but the correct answer must involve the drunk pilot not getting anywhere near an airplane.

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