Iowa passenger's joke delays US Airways flight

Passenger asked the crew if they had been out partying

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An Iowa airline passenger's joke about whether a U.S. Airways flight crew had been out partying kept the plane from leaving Des Moines for several hours.

The Saturday morning flight to Charlotte, N.C., had already been delayed two hours to 9 a.m. before the incident. Airline spokeswoman Tina Swail says the original delay happened because the crew's previous flight arrived late the night before.

When passengers boarded the plane, one of them asked the crew whether they had been out partying too much the night before.

That joke forced the flight to be delayed until 1 p.m. because the airline decided to administer drug tests to the crew, and all the passengers were removed from the plane during testing.

Swail says the airline takes any accusation like this very seriously.

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