SAN FRANCISCO—A United Airlines pilot was removed from a plane bound for San Francisco International Airport after going on a rant about politics and her divorce. The incident occurred on February 11, before United Flight 455 took off for Austin, Texas. The pilot boarded the plane in her street clothes.
She then used the plane’s overhead PA system to rant about President Trump and Hillary Clinton. She continued by calling them both “a–holes” and then ranting about her divorce.
Passenger Randy Reiss tweeted, she “asked if we were ok with her flying like that… then says sorry I’m going through [a] divorce.”
About 20 passengers said they didn’t feel safe with her in the cockpit and got off the plane. Passenger Reiss was one of them. As he left, he tweeted, “So, ya’ll 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.”
“She was not on the right state of mind,” said Portugal. “We were a little afraid having someone that was somewhat unstable flying the plane.” After the pilot was removed he tweeted, “new captain on board. Apologized. We’re off. Radio silence.”
Looking back on the situation he added, “Being a pilot is a tough & stressful job. This particular pilot did not seem emotionally equipped to do that job today. I hope that she gets the help she probably needs.”
“We hold our employees to the highest standards and have replaced this pilot with a new one to operate the flight, which has since departed from Austin. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience,” said United Airlines in a statement.
United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart confirmed the pilot wasn’t in uniform when she boarded the plane. He said the delay lasted about 2 hours. Hobart stated he didn’t know why the pilot was allowed on the plane in plain clothes or if anyone thought something was amiss before she boarded. United Airlines indicated that the incident will be discussed with the pilot.