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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. fred says:

    I love when the truth comes out…

    1. Johnny says:

      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.

  2. Ken says:

    What an idiot!

    1. Honey Bunz says:

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

  3. DD says:

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

    1. Jackie says:

      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.

  4. silence is golden says:

    check your mic first!

  5. P.B says:

    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.

    1. Tom Jefferson says:

      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.

      1. Jeff P says:

        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.

      2. Joe says:

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

  6. the dirty sanchaz says:

    HAHAHA at first I thought he was talking about AA

  7. Like it is says:

    David Spade said it best, “B, bye”

  8. sickofflying says:

    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.

    1. Larz Blackman says:

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



        Meanwhile, the destructive reign of The Usurper-In-Chief continues…

    2. aubreyfarmer says:

      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.

  9. Afraid to fly SWA says:

    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.

    1. Common Sense says:

      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?

      1. FAB 5 says:

        Put your weiner wings on, and fly with us at

      2. Johnny Reb says:

        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.

    2. George says:

      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?!

    3. Matt says:

      Overreact much?

      1. Terrell says:

        That’s my pilot. My pilot …

    4. Frank says:

      Get a life or a wife please.

    5. Boxstriker says:

      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….

      1. Rick says:

        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.

    6. mike says:

      He wouldnt want you on his flight anyway…..

    7. Sig says:

      Lighten up, Frances…

    8. Sal says:

      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.

    9. aubreyfarmer says:

      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.

  10. Afraid to fly SWA says:

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

    1. Amy Willis says:

      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?

      1. Sig says:

        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!

  11. Chuck Yeager says:

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

    1. Sal says:

      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!

  12. Willy Brown says:

    Bags still fly free, LOL

  13. dano says:

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

  14. Amy Willis says:

    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.

    1. Sig says:

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

  15. Davis says:

    That guy is my hero!

  16. JB says:

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

  17. Matt says:

    Wait…flight attendants are gay? Since when?

  18. fonger says:

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

  19. Frank says:

    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!

    1. Sig says:

      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.)

      1. Sammy says:

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

  20. Frank says:

    “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.

  21. hunt says:

    I’m with the pilot, can’t stand traveling and have to watch a man act like a woman the whole flight. Disgusting.

  22. Keith says:

    I agree with the pilot’s description of the flight attendants these days….

  23. Nate says:

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
    — George Orwell

  24. EddieV says:

    I remember when stewardess wore short tight skirts and high heels. I guess the pilot does too.

  25. Sammy says:

    C,mon that’s FUNNY!!!

  26. flurm says:

    Same trio wreck my flights too.

  27. matt says:

    I’ve worked at an Airport, It is filled with drama loving gays!!!! 99% of male flight attendants are gay. Remember the gay flight attendant that popped the aft hatch and stormed off about a year ago. They meet in airports, remember Sen Larry Craig. The whole airline industry is filled with gays, I guess they like to look at long metal cylindrical tubes (airplanes) They can’t help themselves!!!

  28. Freeland Dave says:

    Isn’t it funny how all of the negative comments about this incident are just as bad and even worse than what this pilot said.

    If you are going to throw stones shouldn’t you make certain that you are not living in a glass house?

    The man has a right to his feelings and a right to express them. Unfortunately technology got in the way and everyone else heard what was said in a private conversation.

    He dislikes gays and older flight attendants. So what? Tell me the older flight attendants and gays don’t all have their own personal biases against other people.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if we had hidden microphones planted everywhere so that all personal conversations were monitored and played back to the rest of the world.

    I am neither condoning or condemning what this man has said because I am honest enough to realize that I am just as guilty with my own personal biases.

    So when any one of you out there feels they are without sin and therefore capable of casting the first stone, let me know because you are a person I want to meet and know.

    But I still have to wait for that Savior to come as there are not any perfect people on this planet that I know of.

    1. Titomacg says:

      U go Dave! Right on.

    2. Sig says:


      Are you saying that the Creator of the universe and focal point of all of earth’s history actually looks in each human person’s heart and mind and judges on the one hand that each of us is bad news and on the other hand offers a “get out of hell free” card?

      What’s all this about him bonking us in the head with stones? He didn’t hurt the woman in that story?

      Or could it be that the bonk to the head is for those to dense to take the card?

  29. Curtis Quico Reed says:

    Hilarious. “gays, granies and grandes” now that’s funny right there.

    It’s funny also that he seems to think the air crew is nothing more than a private harem or brothel…the airlines really do need to provide more attractive hos for our pilots, it’s a perq of the job.

    1. Jammer says:

      Ha yep. 2funny

  30. ovid says:

    freedom of speach is temporary , not applicable to pilots ,no venting allowed ,one wrong step against pay community and trouble comes, yes we are in it for the money after all dont wee???

  31. Dominic Denton says:

    Sorry all you offended libs out there – this guy has a constitutional right to his own opinions AND THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS THEM, whether he’s “on the job” or not. His opinions have nothing AT ALL to do with his ability to fly an airplane

  32. flyer says:

    When you use company equipment and act unprofessionally at work, you run the risk of being fired or reprimanded. That’s it. Freedom of speech doesn’t really apply here. Got nothing to do with “lib” or “conserv”…he was goofing off at work and he got caught.

  33. Irish67 says:

    Doesn’t change the fact that he was right.

  34. Karl says:

    Sorry, I agree with him. I want normal straight people taking care of me on flights, not flamers.

    1. Sig says:

      Interesting. Somebody previously made the argument that the pilot’s views don’t say anything about his flying ability. Could we not say the same about an attendant’s “preferences” not affecting his serving duties?

      If you and I were to sit and talk about it, I bet we’d be spot on in agreement regarding the “issue”. That said, I hope the best for these people that they can somehow escape despite terrible social and political pressure not to. The statistics are all there: There are very few “gay grannies”. That’s very unfortunate.

  35. Rico Suave says:

    This pilot was having what he believed was a private conversaion with the other pilot on the flight deck, but the mic was hot (set to transmit by mistake). Frankly, the only thing that he should be worried about is if he is married and his wife recognizes his voice and him talking about “doing” other chics. Otherwise, I got no problem with his views.

    1. Sig says:

      Yeah? Well, I got a problem with your views, pal!

      By the way, what’s your wife’s e-mail address?? (I hope she recognizes your Avatar/name…)

  36. John Berkstresser says:

    That pilot will never play the violin again!

  37. One Eyed Jacks says:

    I’m not sure what the problem is, this is a tempest in a teapot. They guy was a little rude, but he was fairly correct. No one has a right to not be offended, everyone should just grow up. A conversation with a manager should suffice.

  38. winwin says:

    We just don’t hire certain types at our company in order to maintain a stable and focused company culture. SW should do the same.

  39. Hank Warren says:

    This is all about limiting Free Speech. After all, censorship is everywhere. The gov’t (and their big business cronies) censor free speech, shut down dissent and ban the book “America Deceived II”. Free speech for all.
    Last link (before Google Books bans it also]:

  40. Thomas Mallon says:

    That’s the way 95% of Americans think, old and young. Get used to it.

  41. Mike says:

    This guy is alright man… calling it as it is…..

  42. eisenhower says:

    I’m sick and tired of media reporters trying to tell me how I should think or feel.

  43. Cecil Von Nostrum says:

    We still have some normal, healthy, young American Males – bravo!!!

  44. X says:

    Wow, I thought I hated gays the most. Well, maybe I’m not the hater I thought it was.

    Diversity training! How gay.

  45. Frequent Flyer says:

    well, he has a point….

  46. Pedro Gomez says:

    I will fly SW only if that pilot is the Captain. Way to go! Love it!

    Must gays are too hypersensitive! I just ignore them.

  47. Mamaomama1 says:

    Funny. I heard this dude couldn’t get laid if he paid.

  48. Dave says:

    They used to call them a “stewardess”, now they call them “flight attendants” but when it’s all said and done, they’re still stewardess’s. I sure miss the days when an attractive young or even middle age woman brought my drink, instead of swishy Roberto.

  49. crow says:

    Get over it, you can have ;your own thoughts, he didn’t intentionally transmit his feelings.

    Flight attendants, males, are probably 80 to 90 percent of them are gay, and some folks don’t like it, big deal.

    Fly another airline and shut up. Me, I will continue with SW and Air Tran, as long as no one is being targeted personally, F’N Left weenie, Lib, THOUGHT POLICE

  50. Peg says:

    The problem is not what he said, the problem is that he is talking about doing fast turnarounds and drinking, that he is not aware that there is a technical issue, that even when the control tower warns him, he doesn’t pay attention to them and continues to rant. He could have been talking about a bad rainstorm, it still shows a complete lack of awareness of his surroundings.

  51. fred says:

    Stuck mike = minor hardware safety fail + a DS mistake on the pilot who missed it.

    He will never llive it down, professionally, and he has been formally spanked.

    As to the rest- those are personal opinions in a private setting = freedom of speech.

    PC speech weenies, unite!

    PS: lets not forget the union twit – once again proving to the public exactly

  52. Cobalt Steel says:

    You people frighten me. Nothing this guy said was a big deal. Are we so ready to control peoples words? Wake up idiots. Dont you recognize that the media chose to interview only certain people with a like mindset. This is routinely done to forward a view and to persuade you that all people feel like the people in the interview. You are being made fools of and you are surrendering your freedoms. But what is worse you are surrendering MINE!

  53. ATP says:

    Who is surprised: If you enjoy getting touched EVERYWHERE by a TSA moron of the same sex every day many times, you must be gay, or you will get crazy. Sure it is frustrating for pilots…..

  54. frequentswaflyer says:

    That is some good stuff!

  55. Kahnt SingH says:

    Is This Thing On?

    Oh oops!

  56. Siglund says:

    This poor guy… He’s just lonely is all! Remember the Bob Newhart days when Howard the pilot was all over the world, a different babe in his arms every night? That used to be the dream, man!

    Obviously, the speaker had a sympathetic listener (or more than one) on the flight deck with him. That guy’s gotta be wipin’ his forehead and sayin’ “WHEW! Glad my voice didn’t make the tape…”

    Question is, will Mr. Sympathy get the ol’ corporate brainwashing as well? Or is he just “one of the above” trying to keep the peace? Or… was he the one holding the mike closed?

    Makes ya think!

    “Honor diversity, man!”

  57. Jaime says:

    This guy was just venting. I bet every person commenting watches television and movies with worse content, yet you don’t hear them turning the dial off because it is just “entertainment.” It goes to show how out of touch with reality people are. It goes to the heart of everything – people don’t live in the real world any more. They live vicarious lives through games, online networks and entertainment packages. Heck – I am doing that here and now!

  58. Sig says:

    Check out the reporter-ette in the video. SHE’s SERIOUSLY offended! Every time I see one of these “moral high-ground” anchors shaking their heads and running through the continuous cycle of disgust, hatred, and pity expressions, I want to “hurl chips.” What is it that makes these people superior moral judges, again?

    Oh, that’s right!


    (Except possibly a record high score on the “diversity” class final exam…)

    1. Sal says:

      I heard the news bimbo cleans carpet better than my Eureka Boss. No wonder she seemed so offended.

  59. DC Man says:

    If I walk around wearing a “Straight and Proud” T-shirt I am harangued as being a gay-hater, yet we have to accept every part of their behavior without question.
    I have nothing against gays, but am sick and tired of them pushing their sexual preference in my face and expecting me to make a fuss about it.
    And just why do they have to affect that ridiculous manner of speech? Because they want to show they’re gay?
    Political correctness is out of control. This guy said what most men say/think/feel, but we are politicized out of being able to say it.

  60. Janice says:

    He is LOW CLASS Trash and southwest airlines should get rid of him or lose BUSINESS

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