Two United Airlines pilots are under arrest after they showed up for a flight from Glasgow, Scotland, to New Jersey under the influence of alcohol.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the pilots, both men, ages 45-years-old and 61-years-old, were not allowed to fly, and they were arrested at the Glasgow Airport. Due to the state of the two men, the airline was forced to cancel the flight. The flight, number UA162 to Newark in New Jersey, was due to leave Glasgow Airport at 9 a.m. but was canceled just after the time of the scheduled flight after numerous postponements.
Scottish police confirmed the situation, and passengers with tickets for the flight were furious, posting their discontent mostly on Twitter.
“UA162 is now delayed by over an hour and still no crew. Totally unacceptable!! The least you could do is hand out some refreshments to the passengers,” one traveler posted.
Another passenger tweeted that they would like an answer about what was really going on.
“Can I have an honest answer as to why the GLA to EWR has been canceled?” they asked.
United Airlines responded and confirmed that the flight was canceled due to “crew availability,” but did not mention the arrest of the pilots. The statement from the police was also vague.
“This morning Police Scotland did attend before the United Airlines flight UA162, going to Newark. The flight was subsequently canceled.”
Is it just me or is this happening with increasing regularity?
— Alan (@AG_77) August 3, 2019
The Sun confirmed that the two pilots are still in custody, but they haven’t been charged yet with a crime. Police Scotland released a statement to say that the pilots will be held until their hearing on Tuesday.
“Police Scotland can confirm that two men, aged 61 and 45, have been arrested and remain in police custody pending a scheduled court appearance on Tuesday 6 August for alleged offenses under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 (Section 93).”
The act covers pilot duties and the penalties for showing up to work impaired. United Airlines is now confirming that the pilots were identified as being unfit to fly, and that the two men were scheduled to do so in advance.
The airline added that they have a zero-tolerance for alcohol, and that the pilots were removed immediately. The United Airlines representative confirmed that they are cooperating with local authorities and are doing everything they can to get their customers back on their journey as soon as possible.
This is not the first time that the airline has had this problem at an airport in Scotland. In 2017, two United Airline pilots were jailed for breaching “drink-fly” limits at Glasgow International Airport.