When a politically and racially-tinged dispute erupted on board a United Airlines flight last week, a pilot quickly jumped on the intercom to be a voice of reason.
A YouTube video of the incident that occurred Friday on a flight from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has since gone viral with more than half a million views and numerous comments praising the pilot’s constructive advice in the midst of a presidential election that has left the country deeply divided.
“I understand everybody has their opinions; that’s fine,” the captain said. “If you support [President-elect Donald Trump], great. If you don’t, I understand. However, we’re out here to go to Puerto Vallarta, supposed to be having a good time, and what I do ask is that as people we have the common decency to respect each others’ decisions and to get along on this three hour and thirteen minute flight so that we can have a good time when we get down there.”
The person who posted the video said the trouble began when a white male passenger made a remark about being “glad to have kept his guns” to an African-American woman, who “began to cry and freak out.” The pair reportedly had to be separated,CBS San Francisco reports.
United Airlines confirmed to CBS News that there was a politics-related argument on board, but did not provide further details on the matter, nor did the company identify the pilot. United spokesman Maddie King simply said the pilot’s words helped put an end to the confrontation.
“Our pilot was doing his best to defuse an argument between two customers in order to get our customers to their final destination safely,” King said.
The captain told passengers that he wouldn’t tolerate any more disturbances, especially if it involves politics.
“Nobody wants to argue, nobody wants — nobody is going to change their minds by arguing,” he said. “And let’s keep our opinions to ourselves on this particular matter at this particular time.”
And it appears his message hit the mark.
“Give this Captain a medal,” one person commented on YouTube.
“Well said,” another agreed.
The pilot ended with the warning: “If there’s anyone that has a problem with this, that needs to vent or rant or rave — there’s another flight tomorrow. You’re not going to be on this one. I hope that’s clear.”
Passengers responded with cheers and applause.