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American Airlines Co-Pilot Arrested For Allegedly Drinking on the Job

"We apologize to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans."

AP photo

An American Airlines co-pilot suspected of drinking on the job was arrested Saturday morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Flight 736 to Philadelphia was scheduled to take off in Detroit just before 7 a.m. and land around 8:45 a.m., but passengers were soon notified of a cancelation.

TSA officers provided the intial tip to airport authorities, requesting that the co-pilot be examined for the way he had been acting, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) officials told WXYZ-TV.

Many angry passengers took to social media following the cancelation to express their frustration and disbelief:

Apparently some of the passengers were local students on spring break:

when your pilot gets drunk, your flight gets cancelled, and you've been up since 2am #sprangbreak

A photo posted by jenna barlage (@jxnnabar) on

After the co-pilot was detained, American Airlines released this statement:

This is a serious matter and we are assisting local law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration with the investigation. We will handle this matter appropriately as the safety and care of our customers and employees is our highest priority. Flight 736 has cancelled and we are reaccommodating our customers on other flights. We apologize to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans.

DTW spokesman Michael Conway told WXYZ-TV that the suspect was taken into custody by the Wayne County Airport Authority after he failed a breathalyzer test. He was then handed over to Romulus police, who administered another breathalyzer test, which he again failed.

According to WXYZ-TV, the pilot is from Pennsylvania and was born in 1965.

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