Southwest Pilot's Warning Was an Odd One

It wasn't about turbulence or an overbooked flight, but a passenger sending nude pics
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2022 7:11 AM CDT
Pilot's Warning: Cut It Out or Vacation Will Be Ruined
A Southwest Airlines plane taxis down a runway after arriving at Denver International Airport on Tuesday in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – What happens in Texas apparently doesn't stay in Texas, because what took place on one Southwest Airlines flight getting ready to fly to Mexico is now making headlines all over the globe. That's thanks to a now-viral TikTok video taken by Teighlor Marsalis, who tells CNN she recorded the footage soon after she and friends boarded a recent flight out of Houston's William P. Hobby International Airport, bound for Cabo San Lucas. Marsalis says as they all settled into their seats and prepared to take off, she and other passengers nearby started receiving alerts on their electronic devices of an incoming photo via AirDrop, Apple's wireless file-sharing service.

Marsalis ignored the notification, but she says others around her heeded it, and that's when the hubbub began. "It was a nude man that had AirDropped himself to everyone," she says, noting that she witnessed another female passenger complain about the naked pic to a flight attendant, who in turn let the pilot know. That's when Marsalis hit "record." "So here's the deal," the businesslike-sounding pilot can be heard announcing over the PA system in Marsalis' video. "If this continues while we're on the ground, I'm gonna have to pull back to the gate, everybody's gonna have to get off, and we're gonna have to get security involved." He warned that everyone's vacation was on the verge of being "ruined" and implored: "Whatever that AirDrop thing is, quit sending naked pictures and let's get yourself to Cabo."

Insider describes what happened as a "cyberflashing" incident, noting it's an issue that's been around for some time. In Texas, such a move can result in misdemeanor charges, the result of legislation jump-started by dating app Bumble, per the New York Times. Other states, including New York and California, are working to get similar laws on the books. Meanwhile, Marsalis tells CNN that after the pilot's announcement, there was no other disruption and the plane was able to take off a short time later. "When made aware of a potential problem, our employees address issues to support the comfort of those traveling with us," Southwest Airlines said in statement. (Read more Southwest Airlines stories.)

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