On October 31, 2021, Southwest Airlines (LUV) confirmed that it will be conducting an internal investigation after a video surfaced online that reportedly shows one of its pilots saying, “Let’s Go Brandon” over the flight’s intercom.
The incident occured on October 29, 2021 during a Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight from Houston, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The pilot uttered the phrase towards the end of the flight. In the video, he can be heard saying: “We’re heading east at about 107 or 108 mph/ clear visibility, mostly clear skies, about 77 degrees. Thanks for coming out, flying Southwest Airlines (LUV), welcome home and let’s go, Brandon.”
The video, which was originally uploaded on social media platform TikTok, can now be seen on YouTube (video plays after 17 seconds).
The controversial phrase “Let’s go, Brandon” is reported to have become code for Republicans and opponents of the current administration to voice expletives and disapproval of US president Joe Biden.
The expression first emerged in early October 2021, after NASCAR driver Brandon Brown finished first at a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Since then, it has gained further popularity.
As Brown was interviewed by an NBC sports reporter, the crowd started to chant expletives at US president Joe Biden. The reporter misheard the chant to be “Let’s go, Brandon.”
An Associated Press reporter, Coleen Long, was present on the Houston to Albuquerque flight with Southwest Airlines (LUV). When she tried to get a comment from the pilot, she was “almost removed from the plane”.
TFW you’re trying to go on vacation and then the pilot says the very thing you’re working on over the loud speaker and you have to try to get him comment but then almost get removed from plane. https://t.co/xZI5FtLzJB— Colleen Long (@ctlong1) October 30, 2021
On October 31, 2021, Southwest Airlines (LUV) said that it “takes pride in providing a welcoming, comfortable, safe, and respectful environment” for its customers, and that they do not condone employees sharing personal political opinions while on the job.
We know many of you have heard about recent statements that may have been made on a Southwest flight, and we wanted you to hear directly from us. pic.twitter.com/CYh0MugYxd— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) October 31, 2021