Chicago – United Tells Pilots No Alcohol For 12 Hours Before Flights

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In this July 18, 2018, file photo a United Airlines commercial jet sits at a gate at Terminal C of Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. United Continental Holdings, Inc. reports financial results Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Chicago – United Airlines is setting an earlier cut-off time when pilots must stop drinking alcohol before flights.

The airline is telling pilots they must abstain from alcohol for 12 hours before flights, up from a previous ban lasting eight hours.

The change in the so-called bottle-to-throttle rule comes after two United pilots were arrested in Scotland and charged with suspicion of being under the influence before a flight to the U.S.

The old 8-hour limit complied with Federal Aviation Administration rules, which also prohibit pilots from flying with a blood-alcohol content at or above 0.04%.

A United Airlines spokesman says the new policy was sent to pilots a week ago and took effect last Saturday.

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