United Captain Kicked Off Flight For INSANE Behavior

We hear of passengers being kicked off flights all the time for exhibiting crazy behavior, and once in a while we even hear of pilots or flight attendants being kicked off planes for being drunk.

However, this story is next-level crazy. The captain scheduled to operate United 455 from Austin to San Francisco yesterday evening boarded wearing flip flops and casual clothing, then stood in front of the cabin and made a crazy announcement over the PA. She allegedly explained that she was going through a messy divorce, talked about how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both a@@holes, and that she’d let the co-pilot fly the plane, as he’s a “man.”

Some passengers felt uncomfortable and got off the plane, and eventually the police was called and the captain was removed from the plane as well.

The flight ended up being delayed by about two hours on departure, as they tried to find a new captain.

United-Pilot

Per Live and Let’s Fly, here are the Tweets from @undeadsinatra, who was one of the passengers on the flight:

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.

She got on in street clothes and asked if we were ok with her flying like that. We all said okay. Cute, right?

So then she says “sorry, I’m going through s divorce.” Ummm uh oh

Then she identified an interracial couple in first class, I think in an effort to say “yay unity” but it was was awkward.

Then she’s like “I don’t care if you voted for Trump or Clinton. They’re both assholes.”

At that point, I was like “YOOO!!!!”

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.”

So I jumped up and was like “peace, out.”

Oh wait, at some juncture she said she was gong to be on Oprah

Anyway… I stormed off. It took a few, but half the flight followed my [lead]

They were going to rebook us. But now they are delaying us 1 1/2 hours till we get a new captain.

I hope she gets the help she needs. That was scary as fuck. Back to the @united lounge for relaxing cheese cubes.

So, she’s off the flight.

WE HUGGED GOOD-BYE Y’ALL

She was crying. She apologized. I wished her well & said I hope she gets the help she needs.

I kid u not, her parting words: “We should be on show together. We should write a book.” OMG.

New captain on board. Apologized. Professional. We’re off. Radio silence. RIP my Twitter mentions. Xxxo to the world!

First of all, I feel bad for the captain. Obviously she’s in a very bad place at the moment. At the same time we all have to take accountability for our actions, and it’s incredibly irresponsible for to show up to operate a flight in that condition. It’s the same way I feel bad for pilots or flight attendants who ruin their career by showing up to work drunk. Still, we all have tough times in life, but when you endanger other peoples’ lives with your behavior, that really crosses the line.

The most confusing part of this story is how she was allowed to board the plane in the condition she was in. I get how she got through security, since you don’t have to be in uniform for that. Since this flight was out of Austin, I also assume this wasn’t the start of the trip, since United doesn’t have a base there. So her co-pilot and flight attendants had likely been flying with her the day before. This raises two questions:

  • Why didn’t her co-pilot or flight attendants report her before she got to the airport (or at a minimum before the plane was boarded)? Clearly she wasn’t in an okay state, if for no other reason than that she showed up in flip flops and jeans.
  • How on earth did the gate agent allow her to board the plane? Gate agents have to verify who boards the plane, and clearly someone showing up in flip flops and out of uniform shouldn’t be allowed to board.

Like I said, I hope the lady gets the help she needs. What a messy situation…

Comments

  1. If Americans didn’t have the need to rant about everything they see, the US would still be the greatest nation on Earth.

  2. Lucky, I know you have a blog and such but sometimes you get stuff terribly wrong.

    The fact that UA doesn’t have a base in AUS doesn’t mean the pilot didn’t start her day there. She probably overnighted in AUS and this was her first flight of the day. Normally crews take the same shuttle/transport to the airport, but it is conceivable she may have told the rest of the crew she was running late and would catch up with them.

    The gate agent should have picked up on it, but who knows what was said or done there…

  3. Lucky, you’re wrong to equate this pilot’s moment of acute mental ill-health with showing up to work drunk. At an obvious level: getting drunk is voluntary, having a mental illness – however brief – isn’t. This sad situation is more comparable to the pilot having broken her leg on the jetway. Hope her injury heals soon.

  4. Most of all that she said was completely accurate. So, dumped for some one younger, hotter and an actual woman?

    Now that North Korea has fired its missile I can bet trump the bully will turn out to be trump the eunuch. #EffTrumpSupporters

  5. @Lucky, Thank you for the red meat!!!

    The way the passengers felt “shakin’ in their boots” from the mad rants of the captain, is how I feel with Trump as president!

  6. Previous commenters apparently missed that she said both Trump an Hillary are A**H****

    Ive seen several news articles that conveniently leave out the mention of the former first-enablers name as well. Curious

    Apparently, if I’m not mistaken, the object is to connect Trump to the allegedly crazy pilot, not the losing candidate, right?

    Never let an opportunity to politicise go un-wasted.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your flight to Denial will resume momentarily – you are clear for takeoff!

  7. Rightly so, reader undeadsinatra only got really concerned and offended when she said “both were a-holes”.

    How does she dare insult supreme leader trump….

  8. @robert

    just be patient, your mentally ill “pilot???” will be kicked out too in not too long, when the “plane” is on a nosedive once again, like it was in 2008…

  9. Wait….only “SOME passengers felt uncomfortable and got off the plane”? You mean there wasn’t a stampede to get off?

    I feel sorry for her too, but no way I’m flying with her in the cabin, no matter who is actually supposed to be handling the controls.

  10. Lucky, I realize you probably don’t want to be the guy who heavily moderates his blog comments, but Credit & Friends are taking things firmly off the rails. I always enjoy reading your blog be it for reviews, tips, or just current events in air and travel news. What really makes your blog special beyond the great voices you and Tiffany provide are the engaged readers who actively contribute with wonderful ideas as well, but lately some individuals are taking over to the point continuing to read just isn’t worth it. Please consider doing something about them. I find myself clicking through less and less.

  11. Pilots are generally high performers and very motivated. It sounds like this pilot was experiencing acute mental illness. This is something that the pilot likely had no control over/didn’t even realize was an issue. We can’t really hold her accountable for her actions when she likely was unable to have insight into the situation due to mental illness.

  12. “Obviously she’s in a very bad place […]. […] We all have to take accountability for our actions, and it’s incredibly irresponsible for to show up […] in that condition.”

    That’s a bit harsh for what seems to be a mental issue. By definition, you can’t make that call when you’re not mentally healthy. These things can and do happen to anyone.

    Good thing the airline and crew sorted things out, and let’s hope that she doesn’t face any repercussions on top of her obviously already troubled life.

  13. On the other hand, now having read the comments here by Credit, Matt, Robert Schrader, and UnFairlyUnBalanced, that pilot doesn’t seem so crazy in comparison. At least she consciously understood the causes of her condition, and clearly articulated it to the passengers.

    Whereas these posters incredibly claim to believe that some @47% of all US voters chose to vote for an insane fascist. Yes, a majority of the voters in 194 of the 207 counties that voted for Obama in 2008 or 2012, and then voted for Trump in 2016, suddenly decided they wanted a racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, Fascist madman this time around.

    Breaking news: MSNBC is reporting that ‘Dear Leader’ DJT has sent a Navy Seal Team to round up Judge Robart, the Washington State AG, and the entire 9th Circus Court of Appeals (whose rulings are overturned by the SCOTUS @86% of the time). They were seen being loaded onto an Air Force transport plane, chained, gagged, blindfolded, and dressed in orange jump suits. Then the plane “took off towards Guantanamo”.

    Oh, wait, that only took place in the fevered imaginations of the above mentioned commenters, who utterly lose it whenever they see a mention of the name “Trump”. I feel so sorry for them, and sincerely hope they “get the help they need”. 😉

  14. Whenever something negative or “bad” happens, the loser-class feels the need to twist the conversation so as to include President Trump. It appears to be the only thing they can think about. But this is not new. Remember “It’s Bush’s Fault?” Same folks, I would imagine. Two trains collide in Pingo Pango — it’s Trump’s fault; let me tell you what I think of Trump. . . .” Pssst: not all stories are about Trump. Sure, Captain Hysteria mentioned both Clinton and Trump in her rant. That’s not a signal for you to trot out the Trump dis-machine. Like the pilot, I voted for neither Clinton nor Trump. But the man is our president. One must respect the office.

  15. Wow, heavy stuff: About the gate agent checking who’s boarding the plane I can only tell you this story: I was just boarding a short haul flight and was standing in the gangway waiting when I realized I forgot my phone and charger I plugged into somewhere. I obviously went back to get it and I walked out of the gangway through the gate agent desk and into the Terminal where I found my phone where I left it. I then returned and walked right past the line back into the gangway to my old waiting spot. Nobody even cared. Maybe it was because I tried to look like I was allowed to do that but it’s still rather astonishing how easy you can walk in and through the Boarding checkpoint.

  16. @Jennifer

    My comments are more relevant to this post than yours are.

    @lucky

    Lucky, I realize you probably don’t want to be the guy who heavily moderates his blog comments, do you notice these trump supporters who have no problem being able to ignore the shenannigans of the POTUS but have a hard time moving on from a single comment, so much so that they want censorship in this blog. This is how fascism starts. From an innocuous request from a person named Jennifer.

  17. I am very close friends with the couple in question. They are an interracial couple. The pilot also repeatedly asked the couple after passengers started voluntarily deplaning whether they were offended. United offered them $75 or 3,700 miles. Ridiculous.

  18. OMG! Saw the video of her ‘speech’. First thought was of the ill-fated GermanWings flight! It was a good thing she made her state of mind known BEFORE the flight took off! OMG! Hope her license is yanked for good. Frightening to even think what could have taken place in that cockpit after they got airborne! OMG!

  19. Watch the video on live leak. This is not mentall illness. The pilot is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  20. There must be tens of thousands of airline transport pilots in the US. It can be a stressful job and requires spending a lot of time away from home and family adding even more stress. Mental illness and emotional distress is probably at least as prevalent in this population as for the rest of us. Disciplining this pilot, or negatively impacting her career prospects will make it less likely that any other pilot going through the same problems will self identify and will put pressure on fellow crew members to overlook signs of mental and emotional disabilities. That makes us all less safe.

  21. @Trumpsters

    Fantastic ticket prices to Russia and Hungary!

    You guys are a bunch of fascists that have no place in a democratic society. Why don’t you go someplace that embraces authoritarian rule, like Hungary or Russia? Then you can celebrate giving all your personal liberties over to the supreme commander in exchange for the illusion of safety.

  22. Thank you Robert Hanson, you made a great reply…could not agree w/ you more.
    And thank you Lucky for the post…always enjoy them

  23. @Diane Dioguardi You’re welcome. 🙂

    Interesting how the actual fascists (matt: ‘I don’t like who you voted for, you should leave the country’) are so intent on calling other people fascists. Looking in the mirror would be a good first step for them. 😉

  24. @ Robert Hanson
    Thank you for pointing out who the fascists on this blog really are. I started reading this blog for “points and miles” and somehow got lost in here. I guess it made a left turn and I kept going straight, which just may place me in the minority on this blog but not in America.

  25. @Robert Hanson
    Another Fascist rat, Michael Flynn, flushed down the toilet for lying and treason. Now it is time to get rid of the biggest fat rat, Trump, who knew ALL about betraying America to the Ruskis!

  26. I’m not surprised. She is why I no longer fly. This is karma coming home to roost. I was assaulted by this captain in 2009 when I told her to stop getting my flight attendant girlfriend sloppy drunk before sending her home to fight with me when it was 12 hours prior to the pilot’s departure time. “12 hours between bottle and throttle”, she always said. She does excessive alcohol followed by Ambien. After she physically assaulted me, she then filed a false police report against me which went nowhere after investigation. She tried to extend her cockpit power trip to her home life, but it didn’t work.

    The Ambien could explain the behavior just from the side effects, but this pilot is a MESS. She used to fly cargo but when United stopped doing cargo and closed her base, she relocated to SanFran and switched to passenger. Her BF still lived in Alaska so the marriage was all about him getting free plane tickets to visit SanFran. I feel sorry for him because he’s a really nice, sweet guy but he deserves so much better.

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