United pilot removed from flight at ABIA after ‘rant’ over intercom

FILE - In this May 8, 2013, file photo, groups of passengers wait at a United Airlines gate to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
FILE - In this May 8, 2013, file photo, groups of passengers wait at a United Airlines gate to board a flight at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — United Airlines confirmed a pilot on a flight from Austin to San Francisco was removed from a plane Saturday evening.

United flight 455 was scheduled to depart Austin’s Bergstrom airport just after 5 p.m., according to FlightAware. Austin police also confirmed Saturday evening that the pilot was removed from the plane.

In a statement, United Airlines told KXAN, “We hold our employees to the highest standards and replaced this pilot with a new one to operate the flight, which we expect will depart shortly. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”

A passenger on the flight told KXAN the pilot, who was not in uniform, “started to rant to the passengers” over the plane’s intercom. According to the passenger, the pilot “first complained of her divorce, and then proceeded to complain about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.”

According to FlightAware, the plane departed ABIA approximately two hours late.

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