Southwest Pilot Sorry for Antigay, Misogynistic Rant
BY Michelle Garcia
June 30 2011 1:55 PM ET
A married Southwest Airlines pilot has apologized for accidentally broadcasting an obscenity-laden rant in which he complained that he found none of the flight attendants suitable for dating.
James Fritzen Taylor's conversation with his copilot occurred in March and led to his being suspended and enrolled in diversity training. The conversation went on for four minutes and obstructed communication between pilots and air traffic controllers in the Houston area. With his microphone accidentally turned on, Taylor was caught criticizing flight attendants, whom he described as "gays, grannies, and grandes."
Taylor, who is married, according to the Dallas Voice, released an apology Tuesday to all Southwest employees and made a special apology to flight attendants.
"I deeply regret the derogatory remarks I made and the hurt I have caused. I take full responsibility for those comments," he wrote, according to KPRC News in Houston. "It was truly insensitive of me and I would like all of you to know that from now on, I will show nothing but my utmost respect during my interactions with all employees."
He added that the event has "forever changed me, and I hope that others can learned from my mistakes. 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."
Shortly after the news broke about the rant, members of a union representing 9,400 Southwest Airlines flight attendants said they were considering filing an official complaint regarding the incident. Following the news about Taylor's suspension, Southwest CEO said he was unaware that Taylor had merely been suspended. He said provisions had been made to ensure that similar infractions will be reviewed more extensively before the punishment is handed down, according to KPRC.