There’s a huge food fight going on in Houston over this (a little racy language-wise)…
What you’re listening to, other than a pilot who’s unhappy that he’s not getting any talent on his jet to work his game on, was a “stuck mike” – apparently the pilot on the Southwest flight in question didn’t realize that he was broadcasting over the FAA/air traffic control frequency instead of just shooting the poo with his co-pilot.
It’s a bit embarrassing. OK, more than a bit embarrassing. Not only was this guy going on and on about how he can’t even go to the airport bar and get any because it’s all old chicks and gay dudes in the cabin – which is legitimate, if you’ve been on a plane lately; sorry, but it’s true – but for four minutes he was chewing up the frequency with his lonely-guy rant. Until the air traffic controllers finally got him to put a sock in it.
The eating up the frequency thing is legitimate. Dropping some F-bombs over an air traffic control frequency ain’t optimal, either.
The guy got suspended without pay, and he had to go to “sensitivity training.” Which is a fate worse than death. He also apologized.
But that wasn’t enough. Once a TV station in Houston got hold of the case, all hell broke loose.
First was this…
Cece Cox, the CEO of Resource Center Dallas, which advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues in the city where Southwest Airlines is based, said, “This individual has made statements that are anti-woman, anti-age, and anti-gay in a way that can’t be disputed and they’re hateful and they’re damaging to the employees of Southwest Airlines as well as consumers of Southwest Airlines.”
She also said, “I hope it’s an isolated incident. I hope they look and see what’s happening in their culture because clearly this incident shows that there’s something happening in this culture that allowed this person to make those kind of remarks and exhibit this kind of hostility, discrimination, and hate,” she said, adding that means people who were targeted in this rant may not feel safe flying with the airline.
Dude/dudette, seriously? What difference does it make to you as a passenger if you’re fat or old or gay or otherwise not solid to look at that the pilot doesn’t want to do you? It’s an airplane, he’s the pilot. The cockpit door is barred shut. He ain’t comin’ out to talk to you. And he’s every bit as motivated to land that plane in one piece as you are to see him do that. Safety? Puh-leeze.
But wait…then the stewardess union got involved. And of course the pound of flesh they already took from this guy was nowhere near enough for Thom McDaniel, who runs Transport Workers Union of America (TWU)/AFL-CIO Local 556, which represents some 9,400 gays, grannies and grandes (and a few cute chicks)…
Flight attendants at Southwest Airlines are deeply disappointed and angered by the insensitive, and unprofessional comments demeaning flight attendants that were broadcast by a Southwest pilot over frequencies used by the FAA for air traffic control on March 25, 2011, revealed just yesterday.
Southwest’s flight attendants are highly respected by our customers for their skill, professionalism and customer service and expect that same respect from co-workers. We do important work and should not be demeaned by pilots, managers or anyone. We also are dismayed by the response from Southwest Airlines’ management. The official response from Southwest’s spokespeople and leaders has only added ‘insult to injury.’ Calling this broadcast a ‘private conversation’ cannot dismiss this incident. There is no place in our workplace for any conversation that demeans, insults and discriminates against other employees.
Our Union is rooted in fighting for the rights and protections of working people, including forging the battles to end the prohibition of married women, pregnant women and men from serving as flight attendants and we will not go backward by accepting the behavior and speech of this pilot or any other employee. We are calling on Southwest Airlines to address this problem throughout our company, not as an isolated incident, but as a mandate that our workplace will be free from discrimination of all forms as a condition of continued employment.
We have instructed our attorneys today to investigate the possibility of filing an EEOC charge with the federal government. We hope not to have to go that route, and instead, we are counting on Southwest Airlines to remedy this injustice. Bigotry in the workplace is bad business and unacceptable behavior on the ground and at 30,000 feet.
Sound like Jesse Jackson-type BS to you? Yeah, me too. Whaddya want, McDaniel? That this guy get fired? Thrown out of a plane at 30,000 feet? For all of the pilots at Southwest to have to go through “sensitivity training?” Or do you just want freakin’ money that comes out of our pockets the next time we buy a ticket to move about the country?
This guy doesn’t have a stuck mike, nobody’s gonna know about what he said. If he’s bitchin’ about Yao Ming and how he’s always hurt and his Rockets tickets aren’t worth spit, nobody really cares either despite the fact he tied up the frequency. It’s only because of a mistake with his headset and his propensity for whining about an unsatisfying sex life – and the fact that he’s a straight guy who says stuff straight guys say all the time – that he’s the devil.
I wouldn’t care about this deal, except for the fact that the unions are the ones responsible for creating the situation this guy was bitchin’ about in the first place. And oh-by-the-way since I get to fly on a plane once in a while I can tell you that while he thinks the environment at the post-flight wind-down sucks it ain’t any better for those of us stuck in a tube next to fat guys and Vanilla Ice wannabes and screeching ankle-biters who get to deal with Fussy Phil The Flight Attendant or Beulah Ballbricker I’ll-Rip-Out-Your-Throat-If-You-Call-Me-Stewardess as a special bonus.
No – I didn’t enjoy my flight, Mr. Trumka. But thanks for all you and the Transport Workers Union, which was founded by the Communist Party, as it happens (feel free to look that one up), do for all of us. We really appreciate all the help.
Maybe this cat isn’t cut out for passenger jet duty. Like I said, “sensitivity training” is a fate worse than death and he already had to eat that one, plus he got suspended with no check. But if that’s not enough, if they want him driven out of the business because they don’t like what he talks about when he thinks he’s alone with his co-pilot and the only people qualified for flyin’ me from New Orleans to Houston are the ones who don’t say anything off-color in the cockpit or the airport bar or in the men’s room, then keep your shitty airline. I’ll just drive.
And I’ll tell all the fat-chick jokes I want when I’m behind the wheel. I don’t allow any union assholes or gay-rights scolds in my car.