A flight out of Austin, Texas, was delayed after a pilot behaved in a way that caused passengers to believe she was mentally unstable, a United Airlines spokesman said Sunday.
The pilot, whom CNN is not naming, boarded the plane in street clothes and began speaking to passengers over the intercom, spokesman Charlie Hobart said.
Passengers on Saturday’s San Francisco-bound flight took to social media to express concerns after the pilot spoke to them about her divorce and the presidential election, among other issues.
Our @united pilot on flight 455 AUS-> SFO just gave a super weird political speech and seems pretty unstable. Not comforting.
— Hayes Davis (@hayesdavis) February 11, 2017
@united flight 455. She is unhinged. Half the flight has left.
— Sarah Kanter (@skanter) February 11, 2017
One passenger, whose Twitter bio identified him as Randy Reiss from San Francisco, tweeted that the pilot called Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump “a**holes” and, at one point, said she was going “to be on Oprah.”
Some passengers said on social media that they got off the plane. Another pilot was brought in and the flight took off about two hours later, Hobart said.
@united on UA 455. Pilot refused to wear uniform and admits to personal issue and book called To Tell the Truth.
— The Real Tiffa (@therealtiffa) February 11, 2017
She was crying. She apologized. I wished her well & said I hope she gets the help she needs.
— Randy Reiss (@undeadsinatra) February 12, 2017
Hobart said he didn’t have more details about the incident, including why the pilot was allowed on the plane in plain clothes and if anyone thought something was amiss before she boarded.
United will discuss the incident with the pilot, he said.