Southwest Pilot’s Raunchy Rant Should Have Gotten Him Fired

Jeanne Sager

Southwest AirlinesOK, someone explain to me how the Southwest Airlines pilot who went off on the ridiculous rant on an airplane mic about gays, grannies, and "grandes" (aka overweight people to you and me who have a little, ahem, humanity) still has a job? Last we heard, the guy had been suspended, but today the flight attendants' union is talking about filing charges because the guy is back in the cockpit. Doesn't Southwest know there's a recession going on? There are people waiting for that job!

The as yet unidentified jackass pilot was caught by air traffic controllers who overheard him bashing the Southwest crew of flight attendants with homophobic, ageist, and all-around nasty words back in March. While he was bemoaning the airline not hiring "cute chicks" who he apparently planned to bed, the controllers were taping his every word to hand over to Southwest officials. Who should have put him on a no-fly list, pronto.

Instead they took this crude piece of horse manure and shuttled him off to diversity training, then welcomed him back to the cockpit to once again fly the "friendly skies," promising the rest of the staff that he's a chastened boy who will never do it again. OK, if I'm on that staff, I'd be saying "dang right, he's never doing it again! Because he's not hanging around me anymore!"

What this pilot did was straight up sexual harassment. He talked about how "doable" the flight attendants were. He called out the gay men as "fags." And now they have to look him in the face again? Work with him again, with him technically in a supervisory role? Yeah, I don't think so. Is it any wonder the union is mad that he's back?

The pilot may have gone through "sensitivity training," but Southwest has a responsibility to the rest of its staff, not just one pilot, to provide a safe working environment. I hate to see someone lose their job, especially in this economy, but some people bring it on themselves. People shouldn't have to work under someone who has treated them in this manner. And Southwest should value its flight attendants enough to protect them from such cruelty.

Do you think "diversity training" is enough or should this character (see how much more sensitive I am?) be allowed to oversee the very people he insulted?


Image via StuSeeger/Flickr

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