2 United Airlines Pilots Arrested in Scotland on Alcohol Charges Before Flight to N.J.

Image: A plane lands at Glasgow Airport in Scotland on May, 25, 2011.
A plane lands at Glasgow Airport in Scotland on May, 25, 2011.Danny Lawson / Press Association via AP, file

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Two pilots preparing to fly from Scotland to New Jersey on Saturday were arrested before the flight for allegedly being under the influence of alcohol, according to police.

The two men, who are 35 and 45 years old, were arrested ahead of a United Airlines flight out of Glasgow Airport for allegedly violating section 93 of the UK's Railways and Transport Safety Act, Police Scotland said in a statement.

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The regulation states that a pilot preparing to fly or flying cannot exceed a .02 Blood Alcohol Level, but authorities did not say what the two fliers registered.

Related: Co-Pilot Arrested After Captain Suspects Him of Flying Drunk

The flight destined for Newark International Airport with 141 passengers was supposed to depart at 9 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) Saturday, but didn’t take off until 6:45 p.m. as the airline secured a replacement crew, said United Airlines spokeswoman Erin Benson. The flight landed at Newark on Saturday night.

Benson told NBC News that the passengers were provided with meal vouchers and hotel accommodations by Glasgow Airport.

Benson said the pilots involved have been removed from service and flying duties. The airline is cooperating with a police investigation and conducting their own, she said.

The pilots are expected to be arraigned in Paisley, a Glasgow suburb, on Monday. It was unclear if they are American citizens or how long they have been employed with United Airlines.