Southwest Pilot Returns to Work After Homophobic, Sexist Rant
A Southwest Airlines pilot has returned to work after his homophobic, sexist rant was accidentally broadcast to air traffic control and other aircraft during an afternoon flight from Austin to San Diego. An audio recording of the obscene tirade, which occurred in March, was recently obtained by KPRC-TV in Houston.
The Houston-based pilot’s remarks focused on the airline’s Chicago employees. In Huffington Post’s transcript, the pilot describes one crew as “eleven f***ing over-the-top, f***ing a**-f***ing homosexuals and a granny.”
“After that,” the rant continues, “it was just a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes…I don’t give a f***. I hate 100 percent of their a**es.” He also describes one female coworker as a “granny” and another as “part do-able.”
At one point in the recording, another voice cautions that “whoever’s transmitting, you better watch what you’re saying.” The pilot continues, however, until the second voice chimes in again and tells him he has a “stuck mike.”
The Examiner reports that many controllers and LGBT groups were offended by the remarks. FAA employees filed a report and sent a recording to Southwest, which prompted the pilot’s temporary suspension without pay. The airline would not comment on the length of the pilot’s suspension. The pilot also attended mandatory diversity training before being reinstated.
In a statement issued after KPRC-TV’s report, a Southwest Vice Present said, “[The pilot] has formally apologized to FAA controllers and he knows what he did cannot happen again. On behalf of the pilot, I want to apologize to our employees, to our customers, and to fellow pilots in the industry. This was an isolated incident with one employee making a poor decision using inexcusable language and is not representative of the 35,000 hardworking, respectful employees of Southwest Airlines.”
Photo credit: Anne Hornyak (Creative Commons Share Alike)