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June 29, 2011

Southwest pilot apologizes for offensive rant

In a memo that went out to Southwest Airlines employees, Capt. James Taylor apologized for his offensive rant that was picked up by an open microphone broadcasting over an air traffic control channel in March.

Taylor, who had not been previously identified, said he deeply regrets the comments and remarks he made about his co-workers, calling them "grannies" and "grandes."

"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," the letter said. "Please know that this event has forever changed me and I hope that others can learn from my mistake."

Southwest had suspended the pilot who has since been reinstated. In a voice message sent to employees last week, Southwest Airlines chief executive Gary Kelly said he was personally disappointed with the pilot's behavior but that the discplinary punishment has already been carried out. The audio was first reported by the Dallas Voice.

"The matter was resolved already legally, and it would serve no purpose to reopen that now, even if we could. And I know that many of you do not like that decision. While there will be a complete and thorough review with management of this entire episode, it is important to understand that the discipline was rendered in April, and it cannot be reversed."

Here is the full letter sent by Taylor:

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

-Andrea Ahles



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Wow! I guess no one will be satisfied until the man is drug through the streets. He apologized...move on, please.

Thom McDaniel of the SWA flight attendants union should have shown a little more restraint before throwing grenades. Without his comments, this wasn't a story.

T. in Dallas

He is only sorry because he got caught. The only thing worse than what he said was the way it was handled by Southwest! It should never have been considered by them to have been a private conversation. He was on Company property, on Company time when he made these hateful remarks that were directed at his co-workers. Such disrespectful and hate filled comments should have resulted in his termination. I feel bad for his co-workers, those he disrespected and his wife and two teenage sons.

Mike in Fort Worth

Oh like you people have never called somebody fat or a bad name. Get over it already. This is such a non story. Bunch of over sensitive left wing liberals!

Larry Dale Carpenter Jr.

Life is way too short to live in Dallas. Remove everyones comments that believe that James Taylor's employment with Southwest Airlines should be terminated.

Silence the Left-Wing Media immediately.


Hey T in Dallas, remember...

Let the person without sin cast the first stone.

K. from Fort Worth

Clearly Mike in Fort Worth is an idiot. You give right-wing conservatives a bad name, Mike.

I'm so sad for Mrs. Taylor and her family. She should fire him herself.

Ylee Coyote

I will never fly nor suggest anyone fly bigot (aka SW) airlines again. You all may consider this a private conversation but what if the co-pilot didn't want to hear this hate speech? (James Taylor actually says he hates 100% of them) The co-pilot had the sense to not participate in it. What do you do when your superior goes off like that? One feels forced to participate or keep your mouth shut. What a hostile work place a cockpit must be (pun intended). When one of the last major US airline crashes was determined to be caused by cockpit chatter (LEX 2008) it pisses me off that this is what an aviation professional is talking about while responsible for so many lives. He was so distracted by his lack of SW providing him with sexual partners he couldn't figure out how to use his mic. What a joke...low class airline for not firing him in March.

MI Del Rio

have you seen flight attendants lately? we are grannies!.. so he called it as he saw it, no big deal. We talk about pilots and lump them all together too...and management and passengers............ GOI


Every industry has its tolerance for certain activities that is either inappropriate to worse breaking the law.

It is obvious that this is a problem with many Captains that goes unreported so this was a good opportunity to eat some humble pie but you know, he is human so let the guy be and like he said let's hope everyone can learn a lesson from this... Hint, Hint all Captains. As for those that want to crucify him what comes around goes around.


All he did is state the facts?


Oops, let it go. Everyone has said something about another in one form or anther just never caught


This man did not commit a crime. He has said he was sorry. That is as much as you can expect.

Leave him alone and focus on our County Commissioners misdeeds for 25 years.

Panderturd, alive and not well

James Taylor? Why didn't he just sing the apology?

I can't belive the panderturd hasn't found something to criticize here.

D. Anthony

Everyone is entitled to his opinion. However, you are NOT allowed to voice that opinion when you're at work. Termination is the result if you were to call someone a Ni**er or a J*w at work. This is no different. He should be fired.

Beautiful Southwest Pilot Voice

I know this is old but that pilot from Southwest has such a nice voice, sorry but he has, love it. Of course I don't agree with his words, but love his amazing voice.

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