Have you ever plugged your headset into the air traffic control channel on an airplane's radio system? It's typically pretty boring.
Enter the Houston-based Southwest pilot who started spouting some of his fascinating opinions, not knowing his cockpit mic was on. Air-traffic control — which pilots on other planes are all listening to — was really in for a treat:
Among the pearls of wisdom: "Now I'm back in Houston, which is easily where the ugliest base is. I mean it's all these (expletive) old dudes and grannies and there's like maybe a handful of cute chicks."
And: "Well, I had Tucson to Indy all four weeks and, uh, Chicago crews...11 out of 12...there's 12 flight attendants, individual, never the same flight attendant twice. Eleven (expletive) over the top (expletive), (expletive) 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 ..."
Poor guy. It must be tough to travel that often and find that once you land, there are only a "handful" of ladies worthy of your time. I mean, sure, you could go party with the homosexuals but they're just so "over the top."
Also according to the pilot, even when you do get a girl back to your place, this kind of behavior happens:
"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."
Uggggh. Chicks! Either they're only "part do-able" or they're mostly do-able, but even then it's bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch.
Southwest Airlines says they have "disciplined" the pilot, but will not say how long he is suspended without pay. The pilot did, however, go through "diversity training" after a separate incident in March. Yes, apparently there was another incident.
Brandi King, a spokesperson for Southwest, also released a statement letting us know that being nice to people is what Southwest Airlines is all about:
"We are committed and dedicated to maintaining the highest standard of ethics in the industry; in fact we've built our Company's reputation on the Golden Rule: treating others as you would like to be treated. The actions of this Pilot are, without question, inconsistent with the professional behavior and overall respect that we require from our Employees."
If it helps (would anything?), this story also has a pretty "charming" ending:
After the guy finally turned off his mike, by the way, other pilots began chiming in to air-traffic control for instructions and also to say, "That wasn't me!!"
UPDATE: Flight attendants are "dismayed" by Southwest's response to the incident. The president of their union issued a statement saying they're "deeply disappointed and angered by the insensitive, and unprofessional comments demeaning flight attendants." He continues:
Our Union is rooted in fighting for the rights and protections of working people, including forging the battles to end the prohibition of married women, pregnant women and men from serving as flight attendants and we will not go backward by accepting the behavior and speech of this pilot or any other employee. 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 Pilot Caught on Open Microphone: You Are Now Free to Denigrate Gays and Your Female Flight Attendants [HoustonPress]
Southwest's Flight Attendants Are Furious Over Pilot's Comments and Carrier's Response [Dallas Observer]