Pilot Diffuses Post-Election Scuffle on United Flight from SFO to PVR

CBS SF Bay Area
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November 13, 2016


Captain on United flight deals with some politics (Jon Bauer)

The captain on a United flight from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta Friday morning laid down the law over the intercom with an announcement after a reportedly racially charged scuffle between two passengers.

Video that captured the announcement was posted to YouTube user Jon Bauer’s account on Friday.

“On my friend’s @wirelessness flight from SFO to Mexico, some kinda scuffle broke out where an individual with a ‘plaid shirt and a capo cap’ said something racist (about being ‘glad to have kept his guns’) to an African American lady, and she began to cry and freak out,” the caption to the clip reads.

The caption goes on to sets the scene, saying that after the two passengers were separated, the captain made the recorded announcement discouraging further political discussion over the loudspeaker.

“I understand everybody has their opinions; that’s fine,” said the captain with a note of exasperation in his voice. “If you support him, great. If you don’t, I understand. However, we’re out here to go to Puerto Vallarta, supposed to be having a good time, and what I do ask is that as people we have the common decency to respect each others’ decisions and to get along on this three hour and thirteen minute flight so that we can have a good time when we get down there.”

The captain continues, saying, “Nobody wants to argue, nobody wants — nobody is going to change their minds by arguing. And let’s keep our opinions to ourselves on this particular matter at this particular time.”

He then goes on to warn the passengers in no uncertain terms that any further disruptions to this particular flight won’t be tolerated.

“If there’s anyone that has a problem with this, that needs to vent or rant or rave — there’s another flight tomorrow,” said the captain. “You’re not going to be on this one. I hope that’s clear.”

At that point, the passengers burst into applause and cheers, apparently showing their support for the sentiment.

United Airlines spokesperson Maggie King released a statement that read: “The pilot was made aware of an incident onboard and used the intercom to diffuse the situation and insure the safety of everyone onboard. The flight continued without any further reports of disturbance.”

KPIX 5 was unable to learn the name of the pilot. A lot of passengers certainly appreciated his voice of reason.

The plane landed in Puerto Vallarta at 3:06 p.m. Friday afternoon.

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