An Open Mic and a Shamefully Closed Mind… Fly Away!

Management Respect


A Southwest Airlines pilot is back in the skies after accidentally broadcasting a profane tirade directed at the Chicago-based flight crews he worked beside. With his headset microphone stuck on “broadcast,” his hate filled spew went out to air traffic control and all the other aircraft in the area. The incident happened in March and was reported by KPRC-TV in Houston. The following is a partial transcript of what he said to his cockpit crew. Apparently he was unaware of his public broadcast. That however makes me wonder if this is pervasive amongst entitled and self-impressed pilots elsewhere.

“Well, I had Tucson to Indy all four weeks, and Chicago crews. Eleven out of twelve, there’s twelve flight attendants, individual, never the same flight attendant twice, eleven f***ing over-the-top, f***ing a**-f***ing 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 f***. I hate 100 percent of their a**es.

So, six months, I went to the bar three times. In six months, three times. Once with the granny and the f*g, 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 f*** did I stay up?”

The rest of the transcript I heard deteriorated from there. Frankly if I was the CEO of Southwest, I would have fired this guy! I would have gladly taken on any lawsuit to make my point. Apparently he’s attended diversity training since that recording. But my experience is that people like this, who are so blatantly disrespectful and hate filled, will likely think of themselves as victims of misfortune (open mic) or liberalism (the politically correct). But let’s exchange his discrimination of choice to blacks, latinos, disabled; you name the group. It is all wrong. No excuses.

Character Move: If people talk like this in your organization, they need to be stopped. This doesn’t mean staying silent. This means confronting people and telling them that any personal attack is wrong. This takes courage because often the ignorant are bullies too. You could incur their wrath. It won’t be fun. We have the responsibility to treat others and ourselves with the utmost respect. Shame on this pilot for his behavior.

Respect in the Triangle,