Southwest Airlines Pilot Suspended After Radio Rant

DALLAS (KRLD/AP) – Southwest Airlines Co. suspended a pilot whose disparaging comments about gays and older flight attendants were transmitted over an air-traffic control frequency.

The pilot was talking with another crew member and apparently didn’t realize that his microphone was on.

Southwest said Wednesday that the pilot was reinstated after going through diversity training. The incident happened in March and was reported this week by KPRC-TV in Houston.

On a tape of the two-and-a-half minute rant, the pilot can be heard talking about wanting to socialize with co-workers but complaining that many were gay or too old or too heavy. Sometimes using profanity and slurs, he called them “a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes.” An air-traffic controller in Houston told pilots in the area to check if their microphone was stuck open.

Listen to the unedited audio here. Contains explicit language:

“The actions of this pilot are, without question, inconsistent with the professional behavior and overall respect that we require from our employees,” said Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King. She said the pilot was reprimanded and suspended without pay, although she wouldn’t say for how long. She said he apologized to air-traffic controllers and their bosses.

King declined to identify the pilot. She said he has worked for Southwest for more than a dozen years and has an otherwise good record.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it alerted Southwest after determining that the pilot on the tape was likely from Southwest.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the incident occurred at a time in the flight when personal conversions are allowed in the cockpit but that the FAA “expects a higher level of professionalism from flight crews.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Southwest Airlines Pilot Suspended After Radio Rant « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Southwest Airlines Pilot Suspended After Radio Rant Southwest Airlines has suspended a pilot whose disparaging comments about gays and older flight attendants were transmitted over the radio. Go to News Source […]

  • fred

    I love when the truth comes out…

    • Johnny

      Sssssnakes on the plane? Snap! No more Southwest for me. I’ll fly any airline that promises me a gay-free, granny-free, and grande-free flight any day of the week.

  • Ken

    What an idiot!

    • Honey Bunz

      This is just a PR stunt for Southwest Airlines’ “Wanna get away?” program. Y’all took the bait like suckers.

  • DD

    Well, I love Southwest, but every business has its idiots…..and he just proved it. Lucky he did not get a pink slip.

    • Jackie

      He landed his cargo of fogies, fatties, and flames safely, so he does his job well. If Southwest management is spineless enough to fire him, at least he has a promising career in radio.

  • “southwest Airlines” | NetoLife

    […] comments about gays and older flight attendants were transmitted over the radio. Read more on CBS Dallas – Fort Worth No related content […]

  • silence is golden

    check your mic first!

  • P.B

    HAHAHA! What’s done in the dark will come to the light. That should be a lesson to watch what you say even behind closed doors.

    • Tom Jefferson

      Now that is creepy. America – the land of the free – but be careful of what you say even behind closed doors. Watch your speech, even in your own home…. Be careful of your words, even in your own bedroom…

      God, what are we becoming? So the guy was in a lousy mood and venting. So what? Is it better to silence him, or to tell others that he has a right to say what he wants, and judge him accordingly… but don’t have lose the freedom to complain, whine, criticize or generally rant… That is a fundamental right.

      • Jeff P

        Right…invasion of privacy. Exactly the same thing going on in Florida where you have to get tested for drugs in order to get help.

      • Joe

        Say what you want. Just make sure the mic is not stuck! That is what the little “transmit” light is for.

  • Southwest Airlines Pilot Suspended After Radio Rant — Me and the Chicks

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  • the dirty sanchaz

    HAHAHA at first I thought he was talking about AA

  • Southwest Airlines sale: More $40 flights ahead? | Techszone

    […] comments about gays and older flight attendants were transmitted over the radio. Read more on CBS Dallas – Fort Worth June 22nd, 2011 Hot news 0 Comments Online CPM Advertising | Advertising blog   Posts […]

  • Like it is

    David Spade said it best, “B, bye”

  • sickofflying

    It’s terrifying that people like this doooosher are flying us around. He has no character and no regard for other human beings. What a disgusting idiot. His parents must be idiots too.

    • Larz Blackman

      What’s the connection between his dislike of gays and his flying skills?

    • aubreyfarmer

      You can say what you want but you condemn the pilot for his views and on top of that you call his parents names. You have got to be a typical liberal. As long as you are saying it, it is Ok, but you are offended if someone else says anything you don’t agree with. You are a hypocrite and at the same time so obviously brain dead that you don’t even know it.

  • Afraid to fly SWA

    Please file FOIA with the FAA and find out the name of the pilot. I would like to make sure that in the future I will make sure that I am not on a SWA flight that is being flown by this pilot. With such total disregard for his flight crew, it would be wise to assume that he has no concern for the hundreds of passengers whose lives depend on not only his skills as a pilot but his compassion and concern for human life in the event of an emergency. Obviously he has breached that trust. I beg CBS 11 to find out and make public the name of this individual and see to it that the public is notified of such a menace to public saftey, otherwise I will be afraid to fly SWA in the future. This is an embarrasment to Dallas since SWA is based in this city. It is time for the people of this community to make a stand against such unacceptable behaivor. It is up to us to stop this type of workplace and social bullying…let us be an example to this country and to the world by being the first to domonstrate a zero tolerance policy for this type of anti soical behaivor. Please find this man and go public with all the information since it seems SWA is protecting him. Thank you.

    • mike

      He wouldnt want you on his flight anyway…..

    • Common Sense

      So afraid to fly SWA. let me get this straight…

      You are afraid to fly SWA because the pilot was colorfully complaining that there weren’t any cute stewardess’s to hit on? You are joking right? Or is this political correctness run amok? You must be gay, fat or both. Am I right?

      • Johnny Reb

        Of course the whiner is gay. The pilot didn’t say anything that most of us don’t think anyway. Sorry, but you effeminate sashaying types will not keep us from thinking and saying what we want.

      • FAB 5

        Put your weiner wings on, and fly with us at

    • George

      Now, I personally have NOTHING against the gays, etc. However, your PC rant has made me jump into this. What a pilot think/says privately about others co-workers has nothing to do with your assumption “he has no concern for the hundreds of passengers whose lives depend on “. EVERYBODY is entitled to their opinion, period. As long as it does not interfere with his job performance (and I do not see evidence it does) let him alone. And if you don’t want fly SWA – please, feel free do whatever you choose, it’s your life. And what Dallas has to do w/ it? How about blaming US as well just as Obama does?!

    • Matt

      Overreact much?

      • Terrell

        That’s my pilot. My pilot …

    • Frank

      Get a life or a wife please.

    • Boxstriker

      Hey liberal bed wetter! Are you serious? Please…. I would love to hear what you say about people you disagree with behind their backs. Give me a break…. oh yeah, he does not care about risking the lives of his passengers and crew! Ever think that he would be taking he would be intentionally putting his own life at risk too!!! Probably not! I find it funny that you think that this is bulling! Really, maybe he is just getting sick of having to deal with “OVER THE TOP -LOOK AT ME I’M GAY- ROUTINE” that know one wants to know about in the first place. I for one am getting sick of gay people acting like what they do in the bedroom is equivalent to Being Black! Us Hetero’s don’t go around all day screaming Hey look at me …. I’m straight! Being gay does not give you the right to publicly force people to know what your sexual preferences are! Yes some of us do get offended that we have endure the ” I’m loud and Proud” crowd. And FYI I have a lot of gay friends and they all feel the same way….

      • Rick

        Actually, I prefer my gays flaming and out in the open, rather than hiding as a Republican Senator or Congressman. A big shout out to South Carolina and Ohio.

    • Sig

      Lighten up, Frances…

    • Sal

      Isn’t Southwest the airline where they herd you like cows and bull rush you to a seat on a first grab, first squat basis? Stay classy, Dallas.

    • aubreyfarmer

      Boo, hoo, hoo. What a ridiculous comment. Why don’t we just take everybody that says anything that offends your dainty sensibilities out and shoot them. Would that make you feel better? Do you seriously think that his ability to fly a plane relies on him believing the same way you do? Your comment might be the all time most stupid remark I have ever come across. That being said, I await your next comment. It quite possibly will set a new standard of stupidity.

  • Afraid to fly SWA

    Please excuse the typos. I am not uneducated…just angry.

    • Amy Willis

      LOL yikes…you’re that angry because someone has opinions that you don’t like? Holy cripes LOL, you’re in big trouble…would you like to borrow a bubble to live in?

      • Sig

        Amy, you make a good point, but the fact is — we’re ALL in big trouble!

        It seems like the whole US is being torn apart by angry opinionated people. (Could it have anything at all to do with blogging?) What’s scary is that one side of the “tear” happening in the fabric of our society wants to punish the other side for disagreeing.

        Hey! That guy’s opinions are different! Punish him! Brainwash him! Fire him! Throw him off the plane! (Seriously!)

        I really think some people wouldn’t mind seeing those who disagree with them put to death.

        Isn’t that what happened in Cuba? USSR? Germany? Italy? Who’s next? Oh, never mind… USA on deck!

  • Southwest Airlines Pilot Suspended After Radio Rant — Me and the Chicks

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  • Chuck Yeager

    The only time anyone gets in trouble these days is when they speak the TRUTH, The PC speech police are an aggressive bunch.

    • Sal

      Right on, Chuck. Seems some intolerant people are complaining because the pilot broke the sound barrier by expressing his personal views. Freedom of speech in America? Well, I never!

  • Willy Brown

    Bags still fly free, LOL

  • dano

    He’s ready to start his new career with the TSA!!!

  • Amy Willis

    So now people aren’t allowed to have an opinion whether others like it or not? Get over it. It was a personal conversation…I can just imagine what anyone else says in conversation with one of their friends…egads! People acting shocked over this is just ridiculous. If I were him I wouldn’t be eating or drinking anything the attendants bring him but other than that, so freaking what.

    • Sig

      Ha! I’m sure he had THAT base covered LONG ago…

  • Davis

    That guy is my hero!

  • JB

    I’d like to lock him in a room with about 3 grannies.
    Actually….one granny could take him out~

  • Matt

    Wait…flight attendants are gay? Since when?

  • fonger

    He speaks the truth.. shame big brother wants to control his speech

  • Frank

    So what’s the issue here?

    In Frank Sinatra’s words:

    For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he TRULY feels and not the words of ONE WHO KNEELS!

    • Sig

      Sheesh. I never really listened to that song before…

      Thanks for ruining it for me, hey.

      Actually, I really like the Dean Martin one: “Brother, ya can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking… or for that ‘woo’ look in your eye. Try standin’ on the corner, watchin’ all the girls, watchin’ all the girls, watchin’ all the girls… go by.”

      I thank God every day for having experienced some of America’s greatness before it was too late. (Naturally, the bad guys were beginning their ascendency about the time I was born.)

      • Sammy

        And those bad guys blew Kennedy’s head off in Dallas, of all places. May they be brought to justice speedily in our days.

  • Frank

    “Our service lifts your spirits” -Thai Airways; in America it’s “Our service lowers your drawers”

    Look up this video on youtube:
    “The World Most Beautiful Flight Attendants”

    It’s nice to see lovely, feminine, and still originally female flights attendants taking care of the needs of their passengers and making the trip a pleasure unlike the horse resembling attendants we have in the states.

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