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Thursday
Jun232011

Southwest Flight Attendants' Union May File Charges over Pilot's Rant

Southwest Airlines(NEW YORK) -- The Southwest Airlines flight attendants' union may file a discrimination charge against the airline after one of their pilot's cockpit microphones became stuck open and an obscenity-laced rant about the physical attributes of flight attendants was broadcast across the entire Texas airspace.

A Houston TV station obtained a recording of the audio in which the pilot bashed gays, women, "grannies" and overweight people. The conversation took place at about 7:30 a.m. CT on March 25 and was broadcast over the Houston air traffic control radio frequency, blocking communication between air traffic controllers and other pilots for more than two minutes.

"Flight attendants at Southwest Airlines are deeply disappointed and angered by the insensitive, and unprofessional comments demeaning flight attendants," the union wrote in an online statement.

The pilot was suspended without pay, but has since returned to work after undergoing diversity training. Southwest tried to dismiss the rant as a "private conversation" and an isolated incident.

"We also are dismayed by the response from Southwest Airlines' management," the union wrote. "The official response from Southwest's spokespeople and leaders has only added 'insult to injury.'"

The general consensus among airline workers is that this was an isolated incident and will not spark changes to the airline industry training standards said Brian Wozniak, the general Chairman for the International Association of Machinists District 142 which represents flight attendants at Continental Airlines.

"I've talked to a lot of our crews today. They are a little outraged at the individual maybe, but not at the system itself," he said.

Wozniak said in the 35 years he has spent in the industry he cannot recall "anything even remotely that derogatory."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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