A pilot was removed from a United Airlines flight Saturday after she used the plane’s intercom system to go on a bizarre rant ranging from her divorce to thoughts on President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The strange comments rattled passengers, prompting dozens to walk off the plane as it prepared for takeoff from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas. Witnesses said the pilot called Trump and Clinton “assholes” and pointed out an interracial couple sitting in the cabin, causing passengers to question her ability to fly the plane.
But things took a turn when the pilot pointed out an interracial couple sitting in first class, Reiss said, making several passengers uncomfortable. She then said, “Look, I don’t care if you voted for Trump or Clinton, they’re both assholes,” Reiss recalled.
In a video captured by a passenger during the incident, the pilot, who was not in her airline uniform but instead wearing a green blouse and green cap, can be heard acknowledging that some people on the plane appeared nervous.
The pilot laughs, but passengers can be heard talking nervously among themselves.
“OK, if you don’t feel safe get off the plane, but otherwise we can go,” she says.
Reiss, wearing a blue shirt, can be seen grabbing his bag and asking to be let off the plane.
“I asked one of the stewardesses, ‘You feel safe with her?’” Reiss said. “She was like, ‘She was cleared to fly.’ And I said, ‘I don’t feel safe. Let me off.’”
“People started to get pretty uncomfortable and several of us leave and she tells us we can leave if we want, but the flight needs to go,” said Hayes Davis, another passenger traveling with his wife and 9-month-old daughter.
“She was clearly distressed,” Davis said.
“We have apologized to our customers for the inconvenience,” the spokesperson said.
“She was clearly going through something, but she shouldn’t do it while flying my plane,” he said.
Reiss said the pilot was escorted off the plane by uniformed officers, and he could see that she had been crying.
“She apologized, I hugged her, and I told her, ‘You’re going to be fine,’” Reiss said. “She was just in a bad place emotionally and should not have been flying.”
As she was escorted away she turned back again, toward him.
“We should go on a show together,” Reiss said the pilot told him. “We should write a book together.”
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