A United Airlines pilot was removed and replaced before takeoff on Saturday, February 11, after she went on long, bizarre rant via the intercom system about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and her divorce.
The pilot, who has not yet been identified, arrived late to the flight from Austin to San Francisco wearing street clothes. “She shows up dressed like a civilian and asked us to take a vote to see whether we should have her change into her uniform or fly as is,” passenger Pam O’Neal told CBS San Francisco. Then the captain reportedly launched into an incoherent political tirade. “She started off by saying that she had not voted for either Trump or Clinton because they’re a bunch of liars,” said O’Neal. “It just really sort of went downhill from there and didn’t make a lot of sense any of us.” Watch the uncomfortable scene unfold in the YouTube video above.
So, y’all. I’m shaking right now. I just left my @united flight 455 ‘cos the captain demonstrated that she was not mentally in a safe space.
— Randy Reiss (@undeadsinatra) February 11, 2017
Fellow passenger Randy Reiss was so alarmed that he fled the aircraft — along with dozens of others on board flight 455. According to Reiss, who tweeted the event, the pilot “demonstrated that she was not in a mentally safe space” and shared that she was going through a divorce. “She identified an interracial couple in first class, I think in an effort to say ‘yay unity,’ but it was awkward,” wrote Reiss. “At that point, I was like ‘YOOOO!!!’ And she looks at me and is like, ‘Did I offend you, sir? I apologize. You don’t have to fly if you’re not comfortable.’”
That is when Reiss jumped up and “stormed off.” He claims half the flight followed his lead — and that after the pilot was removed from the plane the two shared a hug at the agent gate. “She was crying. She apologized. I wished her well & said I hope she gets the help she needs,” he wrote. “I kid u not, her parting words: ‘We should be on a show together. We should write a book.’”
United spokesperson Charles Hobart told Reuters: “We hold our employees to the highest standards and replaced the pilot with a new one to operate the flight, which has since departed Austin. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
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