Why Southwest’s Handling of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Pilot Is Correct

Over the weekend, a journalist working for the Associated Press, Colleen Long, reported that a Southwest Airlines pilot said “Let’s Go, Brandon” during his routine flight announcements.


The reaction on Twitter was predictable: Some people demanded that Southwest fire the pilot immediately, and some people praised Southwest and chimed in with “Let’s go, Brandon” tweets of their own.

This seemingly innocuous phrase comes from a time when an NBC reporter, interviewing NASCAR driver, Brandon Brown, and misinterpreted the crowd’s chant of “F*** Joe Biden” as “Let’s Go, Brandon!” and it’s become a replacement phrase for the crude attack on President Biden.

Southwest Airlines’s response was perfect, with numerous lessons for businesses

To keep reading, click here: Why Southwest’s Handling of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Pilot Is Correct

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13 thoughts on “Why Southwest’s Handling of ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Pilot Is Correct

  1. I live in Dallas and fly Southwest all the time. After all, it’s our “hometown” airline, flies just about everywhere these days, is often the cheapest alternative, employs people we know, doesn’t charge for baggage, has a great safety record, has an in-town airport, and is — usually — fun to fly. However, if I were on a plane in which the pilot was, openly, brandishing a slogan cursing the President of the United States, I would be, seriously, freaking out and wanting to get off the plane. What other extreme action was the pilot contemplating? What crazy actions would his craziness motivate among the passengers? Unruly airline passengers are already at epidemic levels. I’m — normally — not a “white-knuckle” flyer, but would be on that flight. I’m also — usually — pro-employee, but sincerely hope that Southwest terminates that pilot.

    1. REALLY??!! YOU ARE UNBELIEVABLE!! You apparantely do not believe in “FREE SPEACH FOR ALL”. I would be so happy, and feel safe with any Pilot that said this!! I utterly despise “woke garbage”!! Joe Biden is proving to be the most dangerous President in American history!
      I have never flown Southwest and now, never will!! It’s called FREEDOM OF SPEACH AND EXPRESSION! However, in today’s wacky, backward world, only ANTI-GOD Liberals and Democrats have free speech! But then, if you have ever read the Bible, it tells us that when the end is near, What has always been right will now be considered wrong and what has been considered evil and wrong will now be considered right.

      1. *speech. You have the right to say whatever…but you must bear the consequences of your speech.

        1. Agree with Bug. You have the right to say whatever….but if you’re going to spell it wrong, you will be judged accordingly!

    2. “Unruly airline passengers are already at epidemic levels.” Exactly. Add to that the fact that we are in a particularly hyper-partisan moment in the US? At best this pilot exhibited incredibly bad judgement. The person responsible for the safety of the plane and it’s passengers and crew shouldn’t be broadcasting snarky partisan slogans.

      I agree with EHRL that the company needs to follow a process, but yikes.

  2. And that, in two comments, is where we are in America today.

    Oh, except that we aren’t, really. The extremes have come to represent the spectrum, and people have allowed themselves to be slotted in silos for the convenience of those who can more easily sell us things that way.

    I agree with Evil HR that Southwestern is taking the right course at this time. Too bad, investigations take time, and right action involves so much more than thumbsing- up or tweeting.

  3. I can sympathize with where granny bunny is coming from, mainly because of the “hysteria” reaction of that reporter who was using HFS (hurtful feeling syndrome) as a way to improve the media response. In today’s overly reactive HFS world, words are often misconstrued and we have to use formal speech in all transactions to avoid it. I have never flown Southwest Airlines, mainly because I live in New York and use the airlines that fly from the local airport. But I also have been avoiding air travel since my last flight where my pre-booked higher paid seating was taken away by an assumption by a family group who failed to pre-book their seating arrangements but assumed that I would gladly take a seat anywhere else, I don’t deal well with assumptions like that,. Because of the many problems of passengers cause, I am extremely leery of air travel.
    As for this specific incident, unless Southwest has a script announcement format, I gather that the pilots are free to do their announcements anyway they want. This specific pilot felt his statement was acceptable and who knows what he was “cheering” unless the cockpit conversation is reviewed, plus he was in a locked area and not in any danger. Now in terms of the reaction in the cabin with the passengers, I also have a question concerning the freedom of passengers to wander out of their seats during a flight per safety issues. Just suppose the announcement was of a more dire situation other than a “hurtful statement words” –Does that give the passengers the right to panic and run to the cockpit door and demand entry?
    Hopefully Southwest will set up standards in limitations of any announcements that will eliminate wordings that cause HFS, plus it will also enforce higher passenger standard of decorum during a flight. Getting into a panic on a plane in flight should be prohibited, because if you can’t be calm, you are endangering everyone. That reporter is also problematic to the situation. If I was on that flight, I would have asked for the security to tie down that person and then requested retribution payment from that passenger for disrupting my flight to be added to the fines they should receive. What happened to travel decorum? Pilot should merely be disciplined with a write-up but that passenger report deserves to be fined and banned off Southwest flights for his “panic” behavior which was more of a media shunt than true panic.

    1. For a pilot to be casually uttering a potentially career-ending statement is of far greater concern than someone’s mere hurt feelings or ruffled political feathers. We probably all remember the flight attendant who “resigned” by going out the emergency exit and sliding down the chute with a beer in each hand. HIs actions only resulted in the on-the-ground cancellation of the entire flight, with the resulting disruptions to the passengers’ schedules and to all the other flights affected by the cancelled flight. A pilot going rogue has the potential to cause much greater damage. There are known cases of suicidal pilots intentionally crashing their planes and killing everyone on board. No one wants to be on board with an unpredictable pilot.

      1. Huh. If I heard a pilot say that, Id probably just assume he was opposed to the current president. I’d laugh and then not think about it again.

        To each their own

        1. Half of Americans are opposed to any current President, at any given time. Very few would get on the intercom at work and make a public announcement cursing the President of the United States. And those that did — unless they owned the company or were seriously, mentally, impaired — would anticipate the possibility of serious consequences, up to and including termination, for doing so.

  4. I was so confused at first – I didn’t know about the meaning behind “Let’s Go Brandon” and thought everyone was angry at a pilot talking to a guy named Brandon. I’m like, is there lead in the drinking water? LOL

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