June 22nd, 2011
06:30 PM ET

Southwest disciplines pilot for rant during flight

(CNN) - Southwest Airlines disciplined a pilot whose profanity-laced rant about flight attendants was heard by other airplane crews and controllers, officials said Wednesday.

The unidentified pilot bashed flight attendants as a "continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes," according to a transcript of the March 25 flight over central Texas. The pilot on the Austin to San Diego flight was referring to the sexual orientation, age and attractiveness of flight attendants.

The pilot, speaking to a fellow crew member, used a microphone that became stuck and was heard by others for more than two minutes, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The pilot was reprimanded, suspended without pay for a period and received diversity education before being reinstated, according to Southwest. The pilot, whom the airline termed remorseful, apologized to FAA controllers and base leadership. Flight attendants and other pilots also got an apology from leaders, the airline said.

"We've built our company's reputation on the Golden Rule: treating others as you would like to be treated, with concern, care and respect," the airline said. "The actions of this pilot are, without question, inconsistent with the professional behavior and overall respect that we require from our employees."

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  1. Len

    This pilot's disgusting rant and blatant narcissism are quite the norm for the 'men' who are responsible for the lives of thousands of unsuspecting air travelers, each and every day. For the most part, they take the 'God complex' mindset to a level beyond measure. This profession is in dire need of protocol changes, stricter monitoring and more open microphones.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  2. VW

    I'm a female airline pilot and I am totally creeped out that anyone would put people's private comments on national news like this to try to make it as a big story. Should we follow you around with a mike, Anderson Cooper, and broadcast your private remarks on television? Obviously this captain had no idea he was on hot mike. People spend many hours talking on flights, and occasionally they go hot mike accidentally. Yep, it happens, so what? Shouldn't be national news, and the political correctness team shouldn't be involved in this. See some of your freedoms disappearing when your private conversations accidentally go public? Now that should be the story, not some testosterone induced conversation in the cockpit.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm |