On Saturday, passengers boarded United flight 455 in Austin, Texas and, as is custom, seated themselves and awaited departure to San Francisco, California. But banal events took a turn for the unsettling: a pilot in plainclothes appeared, took hold of an intercom, and delivered a troubling rant.
UA spokesperson Charlie Hobart tells CNN that the pilot—unnamed—boarded the plane out of uniform and proceeded to address the passengers. As she spoke, she mentioned her divorce, the presidential election, and various other issues. In the process, she referred to both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as “assholes.” Accounts suggest that she was scheduled to fly the plane, or at least believed she was.
One passenger who identifies himself on Twitter as Randy Reiss detailed the incident.
The pilot also mentioned at one point that she would appear on Oprah.
Other passengers from the flight tweeted about their unease and said that roughly half of the cabin had vacated the plane.
Hobart explained to CNN that the flight was delayed roughly 2 hours — UA needed to secure another pilot before the plane could depart. He did not explain why the pilot had been permitted aboard the plane wearing street clothes or if coworkers had noticed her distress. He merely said that the airline will meet with the pilot regarding the episode.
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