SW Pilot Issues Apology Letter for Radio Rant

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Southwest Airlines employees received a written apology from the pilot who went on an offensive rant on an open radio in the cockpit.

    The story made national headlines after NBC affiliate KPRC-TV in Houston obtained a recording of the broadcast last week from the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The pilot, who is from the Denton County town of Argyle, specifically complained about flight attendants, griping that the airline no longer hired "cute chicks."

    Southwest Suspends Pilot After Radio Rant

    [DFW] Southwest Suspends Pilot After Radio Rant
    Southwest Airlines Co. suspended a pilot whose disparaging comments about gays and older flight attendants were transmitted over an air-traffic control frequency.

    "I thought I was in Chicago, which was party land," the pilot said. "After that, it was just a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes."

    The pilot's apology was sent to employees on Tuesday.

    Southwest CEO "Disappointed" by Pilot Rant

    [DFW] Southwest CEO "Disappointed" by Pilot Rant
    Southwest Airline's CEO says he is "deeply disappointed" by the pilot's raunchy comments.

    Complete text of Capt. James Taylor's apology:

    June 28, 2011

    To All Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants and all Employees:

    Because of the impact of my comments, I wanted to communicate with you directly.

    Please accept my most sincere apology for the inappropriate and disrespectful remarks I made in March with an open microphone. I deeply regret the derogatory remarks I made and the hurt I have caused—I take full responsibility for those comments.

    It was truly insensitive of me and I would like all of you to know that from now on, I will show nothing but the utmost respect during my interactions with all employees.

    In addition, I would like to extend a special apology to all Flight Attendants, and especially those of Houston. I hope you will allow me to maintain a working relationship with all of you that will provide me the opportunity to extend an individual, personal apology to each one of you whenever we fly together.

    Please know that this event has forever changed me and I hope that others can learn from my mistake.

    I have learned a much-needed lesson to be more sensitive of others and I hope you will see me as a more tolerant and considerate person.

    I am proud to be employed by Southwest Airlines and I am committed to representing our Company, and its employees in the most professional way possible.

    With My Sincere Regards, Captain James Taylor

    Southwest's CEO Gary Kelly said he was "deeply disappointed" by the pilot's comments, a cockpit conversation with a co-pilot that was mistakenly broadcast over an air traffic radio frequency when the pilot's microphone somehow became stuck.

    Taylor was suspended after the incident in March and ordered to attend diversity training. He's now back on the job.

    Despite calls for the Taylor to be fired, Kelly said the punishment is already done and cannot be reconsidered.

    "The matter was resolved already legally, and it would serve no purpose to reopen that now, even if we could," he said.

    Executives with the airline issued a memo to workers, according to KPRC, that said the company's discipline process would be changed so that any future infractions would be reviewed by senior managers before the punishment is imposed.

    NBCDFW's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.