Southwest Airlines has reinstated a tenured pilot after being disciplined for making disparaging comments about gays and older flight attendants over an air-traffic control frequency.
In a March incident, first reported last week by a Houston TV station, the unidentified pilot did not realize that his microphone was still on, and proceeded through a profane rant against homosexuals, the obese and the elderly.
The pilot, describing his intentions of partying with co-workers, bemoaned that his colleagues were either too gay, too heavy, or too old.
Well, I had Tucson to Indy all four weeks, and Chicago crews. 11 out of 12, there’s 12 flight attendants, individual, never the same flight attendant twice, eleven fucking over-the-top, fucking ass-fucking homosexuals and a granny.
Eleven. I mean, think of the odds of that. I thought I was in Chicago, which was party-land.
After that, it was just a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes… Well I don’t give a fuck. I hate 100 percent of their asses.
So, six months, I went to the bar three times. In six months, three times.
Once with the granny and the fag, and I wish I hadn’t gone.
At the very end with two girls, one of them that was part do-able, but we ended up going to the bar and then to the crew at St. Louis, and all these two women wanted to do was, one wanted to berate her sister and the other wanted to bitch about her husband.
Literally, for three hours, me and the F.O. (First officer). When that was done, got back to my room, I’m like why the fuck did I stay up?
An air traffic controller warned the pilot of his speech, however, the pilot did not take notice and continued on for at least two minutes. This rant was caught on tape and eventually was posted on Youtube.
Following is the audio of the unidentified pilot in his conversation in the cockpit (NSFW):
Southwest Airlines responded by suspending the pilot without pay and ordered him to go through diversity training.
The actions of this pilot are, without question, inconsistent with the professional behavior and overall respect that we require from our employees – Brandy King, Southwest Airlines.
King said that the pilot apologized to crew-members and colleagues, and added that the pilot has been with the airline for several years and this was his first offense.
But that may not be the last we’ve heard of the incident. The Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants union indicated it is planning to file a complaint against the airline.
The official response from Southwest’s spokespeople and leaders has only added ‘insult to injury.’ Calling this broadcast a ‘private conversation’ cannot dismiss this incident. […]
We are calling on Southwest Airlines to address this problem throughout our company, not as an isolated incident, but as a mandate that our workplace will be free from discrimination of all forms as a condition of continued employment.
We have instructed our attorneys today to investigate the possibility of filing an EEOC charge with the federal government. We hope not to have to go that route, and instead, we are counting on Southwest Airlines to remedy this injustice.
Bigotry in the workplace is bad business and unacceptable behavior on the ground and at 30,000 feet.
Southwest said last week that the pilot was reinstated after going through diversity training.