Southwest Pilot Story Gets A TikTok Twist

Southwest Pilot Story Gets A TikTok Twist

Southwest Pilot Story Gets A TikTok Twist

The alleged tale of the Southwest Airlines pilot who dared to say “Let’s go Brandon” into the intercom is running straight into some credibility problems for the media.

As Nina covered yesterday, AP reporter Colleen Long was shocked, SHOCKED, when the pilot aboard her flight last Friday said, over the intercom, “Let’s go Brandon” as the end to his greeting. She then admits to trying to get into the cockpit in order to “talk” to the pilot, which she admits nearly got her kicked off the flight.

It should be noted that while the blue-check Twitterati went positively insane over this story, the only witness to this “Let’s go Brandon” moment on this particular flight from “last Friday” – October 29, 2021 – is Colleen Long, AP reporter. Where are all the other people who heard this pilot? Surely Colleen Long, a reporter, would have gotten on-the-record statements from people on the flight to bolster her story’s credibility, right? So far, not a single other passenger has come forward to corroborate Long’s story – which is specific right down to the date and the flight (a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Albuquerque). You would think with that much specificity, and with Colleen Long being an actual journalist, she would have gathered some witness statements. So far, it is simply her story and her word in her tweets that has sent the left into a frothing-at-the-mouth frenzy, to the point that Southwest apologized and vowed to figure out “whodunnit.”

Here’s where the story takes a weird turn. The New York Post and Forbes both present audio of the alleged incident, but the audio is from a TikTok. And does the pilot in this TikTok video actually SAY “Brandon”? The person who posted the TikTok bills it that way, but the last word in the sentence is clipped at the end. There has been a lot of speculation that the pilot was actually saying “let’s go Braves” – which, since the Atlanta Braves are playing the Houston Astros in the World Series at the moment, would make SOME sense.


Remember how Colleen Long said the alleged incident took place last Friday? Well, the TikTok that is now making the rounds was posted on Twitter on October 12th.
The original video on TikTok was posted on October 11th. Which means that no one has any idea what the hell is going on here.

What makes this even more interesting is that Forbes is alleging that this was the same flight that Colleen Long was on.

On that flight happened to be Associated Press journalist Colleen Long, who included the incident in an article she wrote about the chant, noting that she heard “audible gasps” from passengers. A TikTok user on the same flight captured the audio of the pilot ending his message with “Thank you for flying Southwest Airlines. Welcome aboard. Let’s go, Brandon.”

Forbes even links the TikTok video. As you can clearly see, that’s not just audio, that’s video, and the only way that video exists is if someone IN THE COCKPIT is taking that video. And that video is at least three weeks old now. It could not have just happened last Friday with this EXACT audio.

We are left with more questions than answers here, but I’ll list just a few of the questions.
1) Where is Colleen Long, and are there any witnesses from her flight who can corroborate this story?

2) Can the flight crew on Colleen Long’s flight confirm that she tried to breach the cockpit? (This should be the easiest question to answer, as that would have been a HUGE deal to the flight crew, and definitely reported if it happened.)

3) Why are the New York Post and Forbes both using a TikTok video that clearly is from the wrong date as their evidence for the remarks?

4) Who pointed the media toward the TikTok video from October 11th?

5) Did Colleen Long see the TikTok video and decide to invent a story for herself based off of that, instead of just linking a random TikTok video that she could not verify?

Ultimately, Southwest should be able to verify many of these details, including whether or not their pilot on that flight from Houston to Albuquerque on October 29th actually said anything, and if AP reporter Colleen Long tried to get into the cockpit. Colleen Long also has some explaining to do. This is her assertion, after all, and so far the one piece of evidence that supports her is from three weeks ago, not from last Friday’s flight. Someone should just play her the audio, and ask if this is what she heard. Let’s see if she says the video from October 11th is the exact same thing that happened on October 29th. Get her on the record.

Blue-check Twitter may end up with a lot of egg on its face if the story from one AP reporter turns out to be an older TikTok video that she just thought sounded too good to pass up for her story. Not that the blue checks will ever apologize, because Twitter means never having to say you’re sorry… you just quietly delete it and hope your stupidity goes away as well.

Featured image: Southwest Airline plane over Vegas via Tomás Del Coro on Flickr, cropped and modified, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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