Passengers on a United Airlines flight from Austin, Texas to San Francisco, California yesterday were left confused and terrified after an unidentified United Airlines pilot seemingly snapped before the plane took off.
The pilot took over control of the plane’s intercom system and used it to rant to passengers on a variety of topics, including her divorce and politics.
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According to Buzzfeed News:
“She said, ‘Sorry I’m late, the reason I’m late is I’m going through a divorce,” Randy Reiss, a passenger aboard the flight told BuzzFeed News. “It quickly went from playful to scary.”
The pilot seemed friendly at first, Reiss said, and some passengers even let out what sounded like empathetic “oh’s and aw’s” when she said she was going through a divorce.
But things took a turn when the pilot pointed out an interracial couple sitting in first class, Reiss said, making several passengers uncomfortable. She then said, “Look, I don’t care if you voted for Trump or Clinton, they’re both assholes,” Reiss recalled.
The pilot then said, “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.” After some nervous laughter the woman continued, “OK, if you don’t feel safe get off the plane, but otherwise we can go.”
United Airlines issued the following statement following the incident:
We hold our employees to the highest standards and replaced this pilot with a new one to operate the flight, which we expect will depart shortly. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.
Also according to Buzzfeed:
A spokesperson for United Airlines confirmed the woman who made the comments was a pilot for the flight but was removed from the plane after concerns were raised.
“We have apologized to our customers for the inconvenience,” the spokesperson said.
Here is the final part of the rant, as captured on smart phone video by a passenger on the flight: