United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart confirmed the pilot wasn't in uniform when she boarded the plane Friday. He says another pilot was brought in and the flight was delayed about two hours.
Hobart also confirmed the pilot was the woman shown in videos posted on social media talking to passengers over the intercom. Some people tweeted they were passengers on the flight and that the woman seemed unstable, talking about a divorce, the election and 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 K (@skanter) February 11, 2017
Hobart says he didn't immediately have details about the incident, including why the pilot was allowed on the plane in plain clothes or if anyone thought something was amiss before she boarded. He says the company will discuss the incident with the pilot.
United Airlines released this statement:
United airlines statement about the pilot being removed from flight 455. We hold our employees to the highest standards and have replaced this pilot with a new one to operate the flight, which has since departed Austin. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.