Passengers on Glasgow-bound United Airlines flight shocked as pilot takes a NAP in first class

A plane captain shocked passengers when he stripped off his uniform and went for a sleep in first class an hour into a transatlantic flight.

The incident happened during a seven-hour journey from Newark, New Jersey, to Glasgow.

Concerned passengers feared the United Airlines pilot’s actions posed a safety risk.

A retired police inspector who now works as a security adviser took a photo of the captain after he laid out his uniform and nodded off in bed.

He said: “The captain went to the loo and changed into a T-shirt before going for a sleep in first class.

“When he woke up, he changed back into his uniform and radioed for access back to the cockpit.

“Police officers get a hard time when they are photographed sleeping in a patrol car.

“I don’t think the captain of a flight packed with hundreds of people should be in such a vulnerable position.

“He slept for an hour and a half, then the first officer went for a sleep. The flight was about seven hours.

“Surely if pilots are in need of a rest mid-flight, they should do it away from the passengers. I’ve travelled to the US many times and have never witnessed this.”

A cabin crew member who works for a major airline, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This is not a procedure I recognise.

“It seems highly unusual for a captain to remove his uniform during a flight.

“It also seems strange that a pilot should have what’s known as a flat rest on a flight that is under 11 hours.

“Usually they would take a spare seat in business class but often pilots will have their rest within the cockpit.

“It’s understandable that some passengers would be concerned.”

Aviation expert David Learmount described it as “most unusual”.

United Airlines said: “On trans-Atlantic flights, pilots are required to take a rest break. This aircraft is operated by a cockpit crew of three and this pilot was on his rest period.”

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