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United Airlines passengers are stunned when pilot changes out of uniform and takes a NAP in first class

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/09/2018 Dailymail.com Reporter

Passengers on a United Airlines fight were stunned when they saw the plane captain change out of his uniform and take a nap an hour into their flight.

The captain was piloting a seven-hour flight from Newark, New Jersey to Glasgow, Scotland when he decided to have a snooze.

One passenger snapped a photo of the pilot sleeping in first-class, his uniform laid out right next to him. 

A retired police inspector took the photo of the captain, who he said went into the bathroom to change into a T-shirt before going to bed.

Passengers on a United Airlines fight from Newark to Glasgow were stunned when they saw the plane captain change out of his uniform and take a nap an hour into their flight © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Passengers on a United Airlines fight from Newark to Glasgow were stunned when they saw the plane captain change out of his uniform and take a nap an hour into their flight

'When he woke up, he changed back into his uniform and radioed for access back to the cockpit,' the man told the Daily Record

The former inspector said he decided to take a photo because he was concerned the pilot put himself in a precarious position. 

'Police officers get a hard time when they are photographed sleeping in a patrol car,' he said. 

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

The man said the pilot slept for an hour-and-a-half and then the first officer took a nap. 

'Surely if pilots are in need of a rest mid-flight, they should do it away from the passengers,' he said.  

'I've traveled to the US many times and have never witnessed this.' 

Flight UA161, which had a three-man cockpit crew, took off at 7.40pm on August 22 and arrived in Scotland at 7.30am the following day. 

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: The passenger who snapped the photo said the captain slept for an hour-and-a-half before putting his uniform back on and switching with the first officer © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The passenger who snapped the photo said the captain slept for an hour-and-a-half before putting his uniform back on and switching with the first officer

United Airlines told DailyMail.com that pilots are required to take a rest break on transatlantic flights.

'The safety of our customers and employees is of prime importance at United Airlines,' the statement read. 

'On transatlantic 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.'  

But a cabin crew member of a major airline found the photo to be strange. 

(Don't miss: 13 surprising things your airline knows about you)

(Provided by Reader's Digest)

'This is not a procedure I recognize,' they told the site. '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. 

The crew member said pilots sometimes take a 'spare seat in business class', but usually have their rest within the cockpit. 

'It's understandable that some passengers would be concerned,' they added. 

(Also watch: Plane skims sky below another jet)

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