Pilot Sentenced After Arriving Drunk to Flight With 2 Bottles of Jägermeister in His Bag

One of the bottles was open and "just under half full," court officials said.

Close-up of a Delta Air Lines aircraft in flight, landing gear extended
Image via Getty/Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto
Close-up of a Delta Air Lines aircraft in flight, landing gear extended

A pilot has been sentenced to 10 months behind bars after arriving for duty at an airport in Scotland while drunk.

The Judiciary of Scotland shared a statement this week announcing that Lawrence Russell Jr., who was working as a captain for Delta at the time of the June 2023 incident, had received the sentence after entering a guilty plea in the much-discussed case.

According to the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Russell arrived in uniform at the Edinburgh Airport’s baggage area on June 16 last year, at which point his bag was screened. The x-ray machine “rejected” the pilot’s bag due to the volume of liquids inside it, at which point a manual search revealed “two bottles of Jägermeister, one of which was open and was just under half full.”

Eventually, 63-year-old Russell told responding officers that he had ingested alcohol the night before but not “recently,” although he subsequently failed a breath sample. Once taken to a nearby police station, a blood sample was taken and tested, revealing the amount of alcohol in Russell's system "exceeded the prescribed limit."

Russell has since received treatment for alcoholism, per the Judiciary of Scotland.

"Once you have completed your sentence you will apply for a new Aviation Medical Certificate," Sheriff Alison Stirling told Russell in court. "You expect that will be granted, and that if it is granted you expect to be re-instated to your former position."

As for the flight to New York in question, as previously reported, it was canceled.

Latest in Life