A pilot was removed from a United Airlines flight from Austin to San Francisco on Saturday after using the plane’s PA system to vent about her recent divorce, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton.
The A319 captain boarded United 455 late and out of uniform — she was wearing a green cap, green sweater, blue jeans, and flip-flops. Over the PA system, she apologized for being late and then began rambling. First she asked if passengers cared that she was out of uniform. Next she mentioned she was going through a messy divorce. Then she looked at a interracial couple sitting in first class and said, “Look, I don’t care if you voted for Trump or Clinton, they’re both assholes.”
By this point many passengers began to get nervous. Sensing it, the disgruntled pilot stated, “So I’ll stop, and we’ll fly the plane. Don’t worry. I’m going to let my co-pilot fly it. He’s a man.”
That made passengers even more nervous. She then added, “OK, if you don’t feel safe get off the plane, but otherwise we can go.” One man immediately jumped up and was followed by 20 more.
Sensing something was deeply wrong, the flight was further delayed and a new crew summoned. The captain was escorted off by police. A replacement crew was brought in and the flight departed two hours late:
A passenger video of the incident was posted but promptly placed in private mode on YouTube.
One Passenger’s Account
One first class passenger, Randy Reiss, witnessed the incident. Live tweeting, he added-
So, y’all. I’m shaking right now. I just left my @united flight 455 ‘cos the captain demonstrated that she was not mentally in a safe space.
She got on in street clothes and asked if we were ok with her flying like that. We all said okay. Cute, right?
So then she says “sorry, I’m going through s divorce.” Ummm uh oh
Then she identified an interracial couple in first class, I think in an effort to say “yay unity” but it was was awkward.
Then she’s like “I don’t care if you voted for Trump or Clinton. They’re both assholes.”
At that point, I was like “YOOO!!!!”
And she looks at me and is like ” Did I offend you, sir? I apologize. You don’t have to fly if you’re not comfortable.”
So I jumped up and was like “peace, out.”
Oh wait, at some juncture she said she was gong to be on Oprah
Anyway… I stormed off. It took a few, but half the flight followed my [lead]
They were going to rebook us. But now they are delaying us 1 1/2 hours till we get a new captain.
I hope she gets the help she needs. That was scary as fuck. Back to the @united lounge for relaxing cheese cubes.
So, she’s off the flight.
WE HUGGED GOOD-BYE Y’ALL
She was crying. She apologized. I wished her well & said I hope she gets the help she needs.
I kid u not, her parting words: “We should be on show together. We should write a book.” OMG.
New captain on board. Apologized. Professional. We’re off. Radio silence. RIP my Twitter mentions. Xxxo to the world!
Weiss added, “Being a pilot is a tough & stressful job. This particular pilot did not seem emotionally equipped to do that job today. I hope that she gets the help she probably needs.” He’s right.
A very sad story — the captain sounds like she is deeply troubled. I hope that she gets the help she needs and I wish her the best. I can tell you I would have also stepped off that flight. How about you?