Southwest in hot seat after pilot broadcast anti-Biden rhetoric “Let’s Go Brandon”

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Southwest Airlines opened an investigation after one of its pilots recently concluded an ad with a phrase that was used as a vulgar insult against President Joe Biden.

The pilot greeted passengers over the intercom of a flight from Houston to Albuquerque on Friday with a standard announcement indicating the plane’s speed and weather conditions, then deviated from course with an end “Let’s Go Brandon” – a phrase that has been trending among right-wing circles and is the code word for “(Expletive) Joe Biden”.

@thatpatriotmom

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There were audible gasps from passengers after the pilot ended the announcement, according to an Associated Press reporter aboard the flight.

The sentence began during a NASCAR race on Oct. 2 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, according to AP. Brandon Brown, a 28-year-old pilot, had won his first Xfinity series and was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter. The crowd behind him chanted something at first difficult to make out. The reporter suggested that they chanted “Let’s go, Brandon” to encourage the driver. But it became more and more clear that they were saying, “(Expletive) Joe Biden.”

After the video for Friday’s announcement went viral, numerous people on social media criticized the Dallas-based airline for the pilot’s inappropriate comment and unprofessional character.

“You don’t need to hear disrespectful and hateful speech while it’s sealed in an aluminum tube,” Jo Downs-Rinkema wrote on Facebook. “He shouldn’t be exposing his political beliefs while on the job.”

“There are already tensions on every flight with masks, vax vs antivax, delays and schedule changes, wrote @BeachWalkerRN on Twitter.

“This pilot made it harder for the crews on this flight and on all flights since. Freedom of speech exists in our free time. Not at work. Let’s fly somewhere else.”

Some have even made it clear that they will cut ties with the airline entirely after the incident, while others are waiting to see how Southwest handles the situation.

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“My future trip will depend on how you resolve this situation,” @gabemcfadden wrote on Twitter. “Suspend or terminate. Period.”

Another user, @ n9249c, said he “would never set foot on another flight from the southwest unless (this) person was terminated.”

In the face of overwhelming backlash, Southwest Airlines issued a statement on Sunday condemning the pilot’s behavior and saying it was “conducting an internal investigation into the recently reported event and would address the situation directly with any employee involved while continuing to remind all employees that the public expression of opinions during service is unacceptable.

But for some, the pilot’s comment only reaffirmed their choice to do business with Southwest.

“I just want to thank this pilot for remembering the 60% who agree with the statement,” @ Alice15506595 wrote on Twitter.

“Because of him, I want to use your airlines! Go southwest!

Laura Baldy wrote on Facebook: “Whatever plane he flies, I want to join him.”

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