IT is witching hour in Johannesburg’s buzzing Melrose Arch district and cabin crew are flooding into the Tiger’s Milk bar.
Under the low lighting, pilots and flight attendants mingle with revellers as waiters deliver £100 bottles of tequila to their most well-heeled customers.
The party hotspot was thrust into the spotlight last week after British Airways pilot Mike Beaton visited it on a stopover before snorting cocaine off a topless woman during an after-party at another member of the group’s flat.
Now The Sun on Sunday can reveal that the bar and restaurant has told bouncers to be on high alert for BA staff.
A Tiger’s Milk waiter said: “What Beaton did was risky. Bouncers have now been told to watch out for BA crew.
“Airline staff come in every night at 11pm and drink until the bar closes, because they all stay in nearby hotels.”
This week The Sun exposed the drug-taking antics of married Beaton, a BA first officer — otherwise known as a co-pilot — ahead of a scheduled flight from Johannesburg to London.
When a colleague raised the alarm, he was instead flown to Heathrow as a passenger the next day, where he tested positive for drug use and was fired.
In texts to a stewardess friend, Beaton had boasted of his drink and drug orgy, admitting: “I’ve been a very naughty boy.”
The manager of Tiger’s Milk confirmed that security staff had been told to keep close tabs on BA crew following the story.
He added: “They are not banned from Tiger’s Milk because there’s no clear way to identify them from tourists, but security has been told to be on the lookout.”
The manager added that nothing out of the ordinary was flagged to him by his staff on the night Beaton and his group visited.
“If there was someone who was dancing topless I would have taken a photograph,” he said.
With cocktails costing just £3 and 500ml of draft lager just over £2, it’s not surprising that things can get a bit raucous.
A BA stewardess, who used to regularly fly the Johannesburg and Cape Town routes, said: “It is a party place for all the right reasons, especially when your purse is full of your daily expense allowance and the local booze is so cheap.
“Tiger’s Milk has been the place to end your evening for a long time. It is full of tourists and crews from all the rival airlines, and drink is the glue that brings them all together.”
While in Johannesburg, BA staff are ordered to stay within a confined area for their safety.
This summer a BA captain was stabbed after going for a run in the city outside of the agreed limits.
‘Booze is so cheap’
A separate BA source said: “Crews always stay in the same hotel during stopovers, which has been ordered by airline management.
“The two-night stopover between flights in Johannesburg is slightly different to others in that the options for going out are so limited.
“It is such a dangerous city, with much of it totally lawless, that staff are ordered to stay within the compound, which includes a few shops, bars and restaurants.”
As Tiger’s Milk is within stumbling distance of the crews’ lodgings, the bar is infamous for raucous nights out.
An airline source said: “Colleagues talk of vomiting, punch-ups and screaming matches in there. There’s always someone who has partied too far.
“But the difference in this instance was that pilot Mike not only carried on boozing and taking Class A drugs after the club, but he chose to write it all down and brag about it to a stewardess. It was brainless beyond belief.
“There’s real anger in the flying community about this brazen behaviour. He deserves everything that has come his way since.”
The disgraced pilot told his stewardess colleague how he had partied with two local men, a female Welsh holidaymaker and a young Spanish woman.
After drinks at Tiger’s Milk, the group went to one of the men’s flats, where the Class A drugs were produced.
One of Beaton’s texts read: “I’ve lost my shirt somewhere and one of the local lads produces a plate with a few lines of coke.
“So then there’s a debate about whose chest is the best to do a bump off. That’s the story of how I ended up snorting coke off a girl’s t*ts in Jo’burg.”
Beaton, who runs a hot tub retreat in Devon with his wife Jagoda, then admitted sleeping with the Welsh tourist.
His stewardess colleague reported him to BA bosses, who cancelled last month’s flight from Johannesburg to London, costing an estimated £100,000.
The scandal is the latest wild tale of BA crew on boozy nights out.
In April it was revealed that a BA pilot was reported to Singapore police for allegedly sexually assaulting a stewardess on a night out.
Then last month The Sun told how a BA stewardess was arrested outside a Miami strip club after refusing to pay her bar bill.
A BA source told The Sun on Sunday: “A major perk of working for an airline has always been travelling the world and having fun during downtime between flights.
“It’s mostly young people letting their hair down, with drinks flowing, so sometimes things can get out of hand.
“But in recent years, with everything being on social media in seconds, BA has tightened rules and expectations from its frontline staff.
“And the law around boozing before a flight, and getting enough rest, are paramount and drilled into all staff repeatedly.
“It’s why the Johannesburg incid-ent with the first officer was so shocking. If a new starter had gone off the rails you might have some understanding.
“But for a pilot to behave in this cavalier and dangerous manner was extraordinary.”