Southwest Airlines pilot issues written apology: ‘I am forever changed’

James Taylor

James Taylor

A Southwest Airlines pilot, whose profane rant against gays, the obese and the elderly was broadcast over an air-traffic control frequency, has issued a written apology to his co-workers.

Captain James Fritzen Taylor said he is “forever changed” by the incident, which gained national attention, and that he “has learned a much-needed lesson to be more sensitive of others.”

James Taylor

June 28, 2011

To All Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants and all Employees:

Because of the impact of my comments, I wanted to communicate with you directly.

Please accept my most sincere apology for the inappropriate and disrespectful remarks I made in March with an open microphone. I deeply regret the derogatory remarks I made and the hurt I have caused — I take full responsibility for those comments.

It was truly insensitive of me and I would like all of you to know that from now on, I will show nothing but the utmost respect during my interactions with all employees.

In addition, I would like to extend a special apology to all Flight Attendants, and especially those of Houston. I hope you will allow me to maintain a working relationship with all of you that will provide me the opportunity to extend an individual, personal apology to each one of you whenever we fly together.

Please know that this event has forever changed me and I hope that others can learn from my mistake.

I have learned a much-needed lesson to be more sensitive of others and I hope you will see me as a more tolerant and considerate person.

I am proud to be employed by Southwest Airlines and I am committed to representing our Company, and its employees in the most professional way possible.

With My Sincere Regards,
Captain James Taylor

In a March incident, Taylor did not realize that his microphone was still on, and while describing his intentions of partying with co-workers, bemoaned that his colleagues were either too gay, too heavy, or too old. You can listen to the rant here.

Taylor, based in Argyle, Texas, was suspended without pay by the airline and ordered to attend diversity training.

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