Would You Fly With This Extremist Allegiant Air Pilot?

Filed Under: Allegiant Air

“Hi, this is your captain speaking. I’m a supporter of Vladimir Putin, future citizen of Russia, and I hate all Democrats and most Republicans.” Does that sound like a flight you’d want to be on? Well, it would appear that this could be a reality on Allegiant Air.

An Allegiant Air pilot’s bizarre online presence

Twitter user @Claudio_Reports notes that Ron Gaudier is an Allegiant Air pilot who has been harassing her. Ron’s Twitter profile describes him as follows:

“Supporter of MAGA
Supporter of DPR LNR
Supporter of Vladimir Putin
Future citizen of Russia
Enemy of BLM Antifa, and ALL Democrats plus most Republicans.”

Ron was actually in the news back in November, because he had his Airbnb canceled on him when he was going to the “Million MAGA March.” This came after he posted online asking if anyone else wanted to share the accommodation. At the time he wrote the following in a Proud Boys conversation group:

“So how many of you big talkers are going? I’m so sick of this crap. 99 percent of you f*ckers just sit and yell at the TV while the f*cking pinkos are taking down the country. I’m gonna be there 100 percent. And the rest of you f*cks deserve the country you will get.”

It’s worth noting that he doesn’t identify as a Proud Boy. Per a separate Tweet:

“I considered joining proudboys, but when I figured out they help you Brown Shirts more than hurt you I decided against it.”

Or there’s this Tweet about Globalists (and we’re not talking about World of Hyatt here):

“Maybe someday you Antifa morons will figure out that you were being used by the same corporate elites and globalists that Trump was fighting.”

To be clear, there are two separate issues here:

  • There’s the issue of how someone is behaving online, and whether or not it violates a company’s social media policy; he does use his full name online, but he doesn’t directly identify as an Allegiant pilot in his social media postings, so does a company tolerate this kind of speech? I think reasonable people can disagree on that…
  • My bigger concern is that airline pilots have a lot of peoples’ lives in their hands, and pilot mental health is an important topic that can’t be underestimated (look at Germanwings, Malaysia Airlines, etc.); at what point does a pilot’s beliefs system and online presence raise concerns?

How do we know this guy is an Allegiant Air pilot?

How do we know this Twitter account is actually tied to Ron Gaudier, and how do we know that Ron Gaudier is actually an Allegiant Air pilot?

  • First of all, you can see online that an Allegiant Air pilot named Ron Gaudier contributed to the Trump campaign
  • Ron’s name is even listed on an Allegiant Air pilot union letter
  • Ron’s Twitter account links to his YouTube account, called “Russia With Ronald,” in which he travels to the “Donetsk People’s Republic”

In the comments section it’s even made clear that he’s an airline employee, because he is asked about the airline he flew, and he says he “can’t do ID90 with Turkish” (this is a type of discounted travel for airline employees).

He was asked what his primary motivation was for his trip, and he said he was inspired by Russell Bentley, a man from Texas, who only plans to return to the US in a tank to free the Americans. This is also a guy who believes that Ukrainian fighter jets shot down MH17:

“For instance, he once created a ten-minute video ‘investigation’ about Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down in July 2014 near the town of Hrabove, in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Bentley claimed that the plane was downed by Ukrainian fighter jets ‘in an act of premeditated mass murder.’ However, a Dutch-led joint investigation team concluded that it was shot down from a territory controlled by pro-Russian fighters by a missile launcher trucked in from Russia. Bentley’s theory is among at least eight conspiracies disseminated by pro-Russian outlets in an attempt to distract from the untidy truth.”

Allegiant Air’s statement on this pilot

I reached out to Allegiant Air to get the company’s side of the story. Here’s what a spokesperson had to say:

“This matter has recently come to our attention. While I cannot comment on specific personnel matters, I can tell you that Allegiant does not tolerate harassment, discrimination, bullying, or any such speech or conduct in the workplace. All reports of such conduct are taken very seriously and investigated and addressed as appropriate.”

Bottom line

It’s one thing to have a reasonable difference in opinions. It’s another to… well, whatever you call the above, which I’m still trying to process. Personally I’d rather have a pilot on a flight I’m on not publicly claim to be an enemy of a vast majority of people, and idolize someone who only wants to return to the US with Vladimir Putin to free the American people with tanks.

I’m just speechless… wow.

  1. Seems to have nothing to do with his job, nor to create any doubts that he will treat any passengers poorly. People believe all kinds of crazy and not crazy things, and we should be tolerant of different viewpoints whenever they don’t affect us.

  2. While it doesn’t sound like he and I would be best buds, I’m more offended by the way that you are using your platform to dox a complete stranger. I don’t see as how his personal beliefs affect his flying ability. Assuming that it is the same person, which it may not be. Keep doxxing people like this and you will have at least one fewer subscriber.

  3. I am not so sure it would be wise to conclude that this account is actually run by the airline pilot, if it is not I expect i huge and personal apology form @Lucky to this man.

  4. I’d be primarily concerned about his physical and psychological well-being. As a pilot, he controls the plane and all lives on board. His personal perspective is irrelevant unless it factors into the safety of the passengers and crew. That said, if, as a result of his views, it may endanger people in an emergency, then that may be valid concern.

  5. Mak, it’s an attitude aligned with being comfortable storming the capital.

    And if you feel comfortable with people making their own rules and taking actions to suit their beliefs, that’s on you. Many wouldn’t be.

  6. Agree with Too Many. I don’t think his personal views, while I view crazy, are disqualifying in terms of flying a plane. But if he is actually mentally unhinged or something, then yeah I don’t want to get on his plane.

  7. Wow, some of the comments here are batshit crazy. So basically, as long as he’s a Nazi only on nights & weekends, then it shouldn’t impact his job…and we have no right to ask him to be removed?? And it doesn’t matter that he has total control over the lives of hundreds of people EACH DAY he works?!?

    I really can’t believe this is where we are in 2021, but I guess I’ll be the first to thank Lucky for making us aware of this crazy person. Maybe because no one flies Allegiant is on this site….but damn, some of you guys really need to take a hard look in the mirror.

  8. It’s legit to ask whether someone with very very extreme views should be entrusted with an airplane. I’m not sure how much calm mature judgement we can expect from such a person. Personally, I’m kinda in favour of pilots with calm, mature judgement.

    Then again, I’d never fly Allegiant anyway, I’m n ot American and my city isn’t under any route Allegiant flies so I don’t have a dog in this race.

  9. Wow….Sergey Baklykov is good friends with this guy….wonder how he feels about all this.

  10. I agree. Why are you doxing a complete stranger that isn’t hurting anyone? What has this website become?

  11. I religiously read and your website every night, particularly recently as a much needed escape from the constant political news and this is the first time that I have ever posted. I am disappointed that you’d waste your time and ours by posting this nonsense. Please stop stoking the fire and stick to covering points, miles and reviews or you’ll have at least one less follower. Thank you.

  12. @ Abe — I think we have different definitions of “isn’t hurting anyone.” He’s harassing the woman on Twitter who brought this up, and also harassing others on Twitter. I wouldn’t say that what he stands for “isn’t hurting anyone” either.

  13. @ DenB — Yep, that’s exactly my point. For me this comes down to pilot mental health, and his presence raises a lot of concerns for me.

  14. @ Abey — And it’s something I put a lot of thought into. It’s also why I reached out to the airline. I’m extremely confident in the information and sources here, though obviously if I were wrong I’d be horrified and apologize profusely.

  15. I want my pilots to have the fortitude and self-discipline to wrestle the plane out of a nosedive when everything has gone wrong and the passengers are screaming in the cabin.

    This guy can’t even manage to go on social media without having a diaper-filling tantrum.

  16. @ Dan @ Mak — I see where you’re coming from, but the issue here is that I *do* have concerns about his beliefs impacting his mental state and flying ability. For one, I’d hope pilots have compassion for others and don’t by default hate everyone, because that allows them to appreciate the responsibility they have. To me that’s hard to do if you don’t really care about anyone else.

    What would someone have to do outside of the cockpit for you to be concerned about how they can function in the cockpit? Similarly, I value pilots being well paid, having a good contract that promises them good rest, etc., because I do think it impacts their mental state when they get in the cockpit.

    But when you have a guy who hates a majority of passengers and idolizes a conspiracy theorist who wants to return to the US in a tank to liberate the people of America, I have concerns.

  17. Travel Trash Blog. Gotta admit I do come back to read these bizarre reportings along with self-proclaimed travel expert Gary’s jaded analysis. i wonder if done on purpose as click bait or is just truly Gary’s likings and oddities in selective reporting of so many bizarre tales AND analysis. .Unique. like MADD magazine was for juvenile boys. Good job, keep it up.

  18. Lucky, I have been following your blog and commenting for many years now.

    Your blog has been the best of the best, and by a long shot. Quality of your articles, trip report writing skills, photography all top notch.

    Please keep doing what we love to see and give us all a break from the politics that is everywhere else we turn.

    Lack of traveling is not bringing out the best in you and I will echo what others have said above. It comes to a certain point where this blog is becoming more politics with a spin of travel, than it is travel with a spin of politics.

    Please consider stopping these politically driven and dividing posts.

  19. Oh great Ben. Up the game. Now doxing and posting things to push your agenda at the possible cost of his job. He hasn’t been reported as saying a single thing in the workplace. It’s a personal opinion that has nothing to do with his abilities as a pilot.

    We all have political ideas we think are nuts in one way or another. Do I get to put their names out there and try to get them fired if I find out they might be flying my plane?

  20. @Lucky you have to realize that people can be otherwise completely level headed except when it comes to politics. This now includes you.

  21. It seems a lot of people on here don’t know what *doxing* is — because this definitely isn’t it. And working with pilots, there’s more Ron’s out there than most people would care to know. Most of them just aren’t in your face about it on social media and keep it to just making the guy or girl in the cockpit they’re flying with uncomfortable.

  22. How do we know he’s not just edging people on, playing an online persona, pretending to be someone he’s not, just to live a different fantasy online? You bloggers seem to think our online life is an extension of who we are but not all of us are social media whores. And I do have a huge problem about “outing” someone this way, about this mob lynching people they disagree with online. Today it’s not the gays it’s the Trump supporters. Still shameful, disgusting and unamerican.

  23. @ Kyle — If he wants to “live a different fantasy online” maybe he shouldn’t use his full name when doing so? And there’s a difference between “disagreeing” with someone reasonable(ish) and someone like this, who says he’s simply not a Proud Boy because Proud Bays help “Brown Shirts.”

    If you can’t recognize that, well, it’s just sad…

  24. I can’t believe the amount of neo-nazis and socialists who wants to ban free speech. Did this person break any laws in what he is doing? If yes, report him to the police. If no, why on earth would his political views have anything to do with his abilities to be a pilot? Come on Ben, are you really going after some persons job just because you have a different political opinion than him? You really want to censor anyone who don’t see the world the way you do? Seriously, what is wrong with you Americans?

  25. I let the swipe at the Georgia election go the other day only to be served an even bigger helping of politics today. The politics in this post hiding behind a very thin veil of an Allegiant Air pilot story is disappointing. I’m here for travel-related information and chatter. This has always been a great place for both. This is Ben’s space and he can post what he likes but if it’s politics (left or right), I’m taillights. I’ll go back to reading TPG – it will be annoying but they’re professional enough to know to steer clear of politics.

  26. If we let people get away with saying things like this when we see things like this we are JUST as responsible when things go wrong.

    Thank you for saying something. Some of these people who want you to stick to just being a travel blogger must live such wonderfully entitled lives where they can ignore everything else happening around them. It must be wonderful to live such a safe entitled life!

    I don’t understand how someone can read what this man wrote and the outraged then comes more towards the travel blogger who is voicing his opinion more so then towards the person that clearly is mentally unstable and is flying a plane with the lives of hundreds… that is very jarring and a sign of the times.

    Thank you for being true to yourself.

  27. I most definitely would NOT trust my life with this unhinged individual! Thanks for using your platform to call these people out!

  28. Sean is the only reasonable one here. Ignorance is not bliss, people. If this person were a police officer you’re telling me you wouldn’t be SHOCKED and calling for their badge?!?! Of course you would. How the hell is this different? Because he’s “just a pilot”?

    Holy [email protected] this blog has a bunch of idiots for readers, apparently.

  29. Being a police officer is completely different from being a pilot… completely different roles. Just because a pilot is in charge of his or her passengers doesn’t mean they are sworn officers of the law and carry guns…

  30. Ben, everything you said I agree with.
    But. This doesnt have anything to do with a person being a pilot.

    You can be a racist bigot and still be a responsible pilot. Just like you can be an enlightened individual but fly a plane like a mad man.

    I agree with with what you’re saying but is this the right place to say it? I’m sure he isnt alone in his thinking amongst flight crews around the world. But calling out everyone one of then would just transform this blog into something else…

    Now, if he was also running a promotion for points as well, that would be news worthy;)

  31. Management needs to be concerned. Besides the fact that this guy is bat shit crazy, he is bad for the brand. All companies that are in the public eye need to make sure that their brand is as positive as possible.

  32. Seriously, if one’s job is to be threatened because of one’s ideology, political view
    Here in the USA would not be ANYTHING better than those Chinese leftist does…
    I respect you when you try to comment politics even though this is a travel blog,
    But one most important thing is that I hope that you are doing so to ensure but not limit freedom, for that your public disclosure of one’s right wing view is just a step to the 1957 Chinese Purge to the right wing…

  33. @ Arie — @ Ben L. Makes the correct point here. It’s not about politics, because reasonable people can absolutely disagree on a variety of issues that can be political in nature. There are hundreds if not thousands of pilots who I would almost certainly roll my eyes at if we were having a robust discussion on things like student debt or marginal tax rates or labor laws, or even race issues. None of their political (or more likely generational) opinions on those things would make me question their ability to competently command an aircraft.

    If someone is potentially so unhinged as to adhere to a host of delusional conspiracy theories, however, and claims to be willing to go so far as to commit violence on behalf of those mis-placed ideals, then surely reasonable people can also agree that it may not be recommended for said person to be in control of the lives of a hundred other people? It at least merits discussion, if nothing else.

  34. Yeah… this is last straw for me. This blog was fun while it lasted. Best hotel and premium airline reviews, but I’m intentionally trying to avoid politics this year – negative input no matter how you slice it.

    Back to flyer talk.

  35. What is holding this psycho from flying his airplane straight into a building QAnon “says” it’s forbidden so he can be a martyr that is “not one of the f*ckers [that] just sit and yell at the TV while the f*cking pinkos are taking down the country”?

    After all US pilots are able to bring guns in the cockpit (yeah, I know…), so he can get rid of his co-pilot rather easily without having to lock him out as the suicidal Germanwings one did (killing all 150 onboard).

    Ben — thanks for digging this up; great journalism. This has 100% to do with air travel.

  36. Really surprised by some of the comments here. How can someone’s dubious mental health not be relevant to their job performance?

  37. I imagine if this guy were to fly a plane into a building, everyone would suddenly point out how obviously mentally unhinged this guy is, and how anyone could miss all the obvious signs of detachment from reality and misanthropy.

    But here we are, with half of the commenters asking how the inability to separate fact from conspiracy theories could affect job performance.

  38. Ah, Ben and his cancel-culture buddies found another v*crime for showcasing their moral superiority. What a great 2021 this has been so far

  39. This is as big deal. While most comments here are made by those who assume that the pilot is being demonized simply for his political views, the situation is actually disturbing. The guy allegedly traveled to DPR, essentially a war zone. You can pretend it’s normal, that’s your choice, but I sure want to know whether my pilot travels to war zones for fun. Thanks for bringing it up.

  40. Given how many people are completely brainwashed and now unhinged by this Trump conspiracy laden rhetoric I hope this moron gets fired. There is no reason peoples lives should be in his hands.

  41. This guy is unhinged and shouldn’t be flying. Someone with “left wing” views of the same level of wackiness should also be prevented from potentially endangering the lives of passengers. This isn’t about politics, even if it’s politics that signal this guy is bonkers.

    I would agree that this blog has become too political at times for a travel blog. (Regardless of whether you agree with Ben’s political positions.) However, this is precisely the type of thing that is worth calling out. Ben has a platform here and if he can draw attention to something that puts people’s lives in danger, then it’s the right use of this platform.

    I’m sorry, but airplane pilots can and do “Germanwings” and “Egyptair” and other stuff of that nature. That’s something your typical hotel clerk can’t do. There’s a very nice QAnon supporter who works at a store I like. He should keep his job and be left alone. Airline pilots are a totally different matter.

  42. Ben. You’re absolutely right.

    Is he thinks the country is under attack and only he has the balls to do what it takes, he could use his plane as a weapon.

    Not one 9/11 prevention measure can stop a suicidal pilot.

    He needs his license removed ASAP.

  43. If you deliver pizza, express yourself however you want. If you want to be entrusted with lives as a pilot, there’s a higher standard, and spreading insurrectionist conspiracy theories is disqualifying.

    Ben, thank you, keep it up.

  44. @Andy: “Trump supporter = low IQ dregs of the earth. All of them.”

    That’s about half of the Americans.

    Ben: this post is the last straw. Your blog used to be good. Nothing is left of it anymore.

  45. I don’t understand the position of the individuals who complain about the inclusion of politics-related travel items:
    1. You don’t have to read any of them (they are clearly identified from the titles) – if you’re “tired” of politics and you come to OMAAT to avoid it. If your sensitive bowels react to at the sight of such titles, I can’t imagine why in the world you will actually, not only click on it, but also read the entire piece (as it clear that those complainers did).
    I, for example, do not care about the extensive cover of American credit cards (as most of the other international subscribers probably) – my magic cure – I don’t read those items. Try it – it works great. Thank me later.
    2. The threats of leaving are almost as old as this blog – try to be more creative in your threats. For those of us who read the comments, it’d be appreciated.
    3. It seems to me that information portraying a militant pilot who supports armed an insurrection against his own country and his (mostly hated) countrymen, is given a powerful potential weapon by a reputable (or at least active) airline, with possibly me as a lab rat inside, is more then just a topic for discussion – it is an existential concern.

  46. He’s definitely not fit to be a pilot. What if one of his planes is full of people attending a BLM protest or something similar and he decides to back up his words with actions, like he claims to do in those blogs.

    Oh, and I’m sure some of the commenters on here who don’t want the pilot fired are the same ones who wanted Kaepernick fired just for taking a knee.

  47. It occurs to me that there’s been only a single reference to “Germanwings” in this discussion and many of the commenters here may not know what that incident was about nor be aware of the death toll that resulted from it. If you’re unfamiliar with it, look it up. It may change your view of Ben’s comments on this particular subject.

  48. It’s sad to see just how much Ben has lost his sh*t over the past few years. I think many of us used to give him a huge benefit of the doubt, but we have to now officially admit – the man’s a giant a*hole and can be fully dismissed on virtually everything.

  49. Speaking only for myself, I just want to be clear that while I generally don’t think quarter or comfort should ever be given to fascists (especially having grown up around the generational plague that is the skinheads/neo-Nazis of Northern Idaho), I don’t suspect this man is really that far to the right (or the left) in his usual day-to-day political views. And again, the politics aren’t really the cause for concern.

    What is concerning is the slip down the rabbit hole. Lots of people get pulled in by the crowd in exciting or stressful times, and the luckiest have a friend or loved one to grab them off the ledge, or have a heart-to-heart in the clear light of day. Everyone calms down, and moves on with their lives, perhaps embarrassed, but also wiser.

    Without that, some folks fall deeper into the delusion, and very little good can come of it. Which is really what makes this concerning.

    It’s a delicate situation for Allegiant. You don’t want to just fire someone, for a host of reasons, including that if someone is flirting with instability, ending their employment may be the thing that pushes them over the edge into more explicit violence. At the same time, you truly can’t have someone operating a passenger aircraft unless you are 100% sure they are in their right minds and fully capable of discharging their responsibilities in a clear-headed way. So if there’s even a suggestion of a potential issue, Allegiant really does need to investigate their pilot’s fitness to fly.

    Perhaps this man is simply highly wound up from the chaos of the past few weeks/months in the US, and some thoughtful conversations during a period of administrative leave would be sufficient to help him find balance again. That would certainly be a much better outcome than many of the alternatives.

  50. 1. I count myself fortunate that I won’t even have to think about flying Allegiant;
    2. There’s gotta be some irony that he’s a captain of an airline by that name;
    3. Many among their ranks have happily said they’d sooner be Russian than a Democrat;
    4. I got new rules, I count ‘em

  51. I have enjoyed reading this blog for many years and supported you through exclusively using your affiliate links whenever I would get a new credit card.

    I will no longer do so, Lucky, unless I read a post in which you will promise to categorically abstain from harassing people for their political views in the future. Your post is a completely unacceptable form of intrusive political activism. If this is the route you want to go – fine.
    But not with my support and I urge fellow readers to follow my example and stop supporting you.

    Let me be clear. I am not far away from you in my political views. I am not a Trump supporter and I can only shake my head at people who would want to live in Russia and who idolize Putin.
    However, claiming that this would show a person is mentally ill is extremely overreaching and arrogant.

    Free speech and the right to express your political opinion are values that will not be defended if we allow self-appointed social justice warriors to harass those of us that have differing political views.
    Because this is all it is – you intimidate a person for their political views by putting pressure on their employer. And it may work.
    Shame on you, Lucky! Time to realize you did wrong and apologize.

  52. “I firmly believe in Trump’s ability to run America is better than any of the democrats, and I will vote for him no matter what” is a political view.

    “I HATE most of the people in my country and I will do something about it unlike everyone else” is categorically different.

    This man is the latter.

  53. I worked in management at an airline (British Airways) and, as with most airlines I guess, I had to go through criminal record checks to ensure that I was neither a criminal nor, well, worse. As a people manager I was also trained to attend disciplinary meetings and so on (and one of the reasons for being on a disciplinary is criminal conduct).

    Now, the gentleman in question has some pretty radical views but… is it criminal? I don’t think so. He has neither admitted being part of a banned/terrorist group nor engaged in criminal/terroristic activities based on what Ben has shared in this article. Had he spread propaganda from a banned group (I’m not that clued up on US white power groups, but there are some banned here in the UK and sharing propaganda from them would definitely raise an alarm). As for going to Donetsk… that’s hardly a crime. Had he been filmed shooting from a trench towards the Ukraine government’s positions.. that’s different.

    Long story short: I think this article’s a bit flimsy. Sure, the man has some views that are “out there” but if there’s a serious concern then it should be a matter to be reported to the FAA and the FBI, not OMAAT IMHO.

  54. @David

    “I HATE most of the people in my country and I will do something about it unlike everyone else”

    I haven’t read that from the above, but if you believe that to be the case, report him to the authorities with everything you know. Let them deal with it and give him a fair chance to explain himself and to provide context.

    Don’t call someone out using your popular travel blog!

    Sniffing out someone’s political views through their social media and then applying pressure to their employer is overreaching and totalitarian in nature.

  55. @Lars K
    He claims to be an “enemy of ALL Democrats and most Republicans”, which makes up most of the people in America, and calls others “big talkers” while he claims he’s not. I definitely would not be comfortable flying on his plane, but I’m not sure it quite warrants prosecution by the authorities either (and the latter feels much more totalitarian).

  56. Mr Gaudier needs a good talking to from management, at the very least. Piloting airliners leaves little room for volatile conspiracies or mental instabilities.

  57. Shame, it used to be a really good travel blog, but I guess politics will bring you more clicks for the time being.

    Btw, would you also be concerned if the pilot was on the other side – Supporter of BLM, Antifa, Defund the Police, enemy of all Republicans, etc?

  58. If the shoe were on the other foot and the guy was a communist Antifa member and avid CCP supporter, there would be no issue. Right? It would just be a guy expressing his views. But since this guy is too far on the other side with his views, he must be destroyed?

    No. If he is found by a mental health professional to be unfit to fly it’s one thing. Summarily deeming him unfit based on disagreement with his political rants is quite another. It is scary that this blog thinks that it’s even a close call.

  59. @ Lars K — Absolutely understand and respect where you’re coming from. This isn’t about his “politics” though.

    The concern is as David notes — is Allegiant absolutely, unequivocally, certain that their pilot is of sound mind? If they are, great, and no one need worry. But when someone has control over other lives, and appears to be approaching, if not already on, a pathway of radicalization that often leads to impulsive violence, it is incumbent on the airline to check it out.

    No one is suggesting that this man has planned criminal activities (well, other than potentially being party to sedition and whatever else on Wednesday, and I’m sure the FBI has what they need there already), or that a criminal referral needs to be made, just that Allegiant ought to have some serious conversations. Being aware of it also gives them the opportunity to make appropriate evaluations, or even just shuffle schedules and cockpit pairings until they have a better sense of the overall picture. There are many kind and reasonable approaches for the airline to contemplate.

    Coming from the other direction, imagine if the worst were to happen, and this man were to be triggered by something like seeing Biden’s inauguration take place, or some other worldview-shaking event, and used his access to an aircraft to harm? You’d all be rightfully livid, demanding to know who knew what and when, and I doubt hearing “Oh yeah, we knew about him. Assumed he was just a bog-standard nutter though.” would be any comfort to anyone.

  60. @Lars

    Destroyed? What are you on about? Destroyed would be a felony conviction, or being shot by the police. When you work for any employer, there are professional requirements that apply, even when you’re not on the clock. Being mentally healthy is important to a job if hundreds of lives are in your hands.

    This would apply equally to any extremists, whether they are Antifa, CCP, Neo Nazis or the Cult of Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

  61. He is only one. Many more like him and those who supported and attended the riot at the Capitol, especially who actively as well as violently entered the premise. Hurting people and staffs. Violently destroying the area.
    This was not a simple peaceful excusion. The mob was their to disturb, overthrow the ongoing political procedure. They were there to violently oppose and prevent Joe Biden to be officially proclaimed the next Potus.
    For me it was a failed coup attempt as some official responsibles in the security branch are actually supporting this mob and Trump’s hate speech. These ones just did not take the danger infront of the door seriously. And yes, I will throw this assumption. If most of the mob are blacks or browns, security and police are surely faster and quicker with their response. They just thought white prople will not disobey the law and will start a coup attempt spontaneously infront of their nose.
    This ugly situation just tarnished the American attitude to a peaceful ad sensible democracy. The rest of the world can surely show the finger and laugh at us. As we are now like those countries we oftenly belittled as undemocratic, chaotic, no respect to laws etc.
    Trump has opened and give way to the evil, menace and degenerated face of racist Aericans.

  62. @ Mike @ Lars — If any of those groups were linked to white nationalist extremism, which has been pegged by that known bastion of liberal indecency at the Department of Homeland Security as deadliest domestic terror threat in the United States, absolutely.

    The whataboutism is getting absolutely ludicrous, honestly. Why is this so hard?

  63. @ Fabrizio S. — We don’t have the exact same kinds of laws prohibiting propaganda as such from “homegrown violent extremists” as we call them here, but the intent is similar.

    Take the level of alarm you mention, and factor in that this gentleman was at least associating with, if not directly part of, a group that stormed the equivalent of Parliament while the new government was being officially formed. Five people were killed. The FBI will certainly investigate, but for a host of fantastical reasons very few arrests were made on Wednesday, and additional questioning and detainment will take some time.

    In the meantime, many of these people are returning to their jobs. And it’s perhaps well enough for a realtor, or a janitor, or a host of other occupations to do so while awaiting their day in court, but as a people manager, do you not think it better for the airline to be aware of their potential risk exposure here, and conduct investigations accordingly?

  64. He doesn’t belong in the skies. Not due to his beliefs but due to some of his threatening statements. Pilots should be held to extremely high levels of integrity and should use discretion due to the amount of lives on our hands. As an FO myself I would not like to fly with this guy.

  65. As Tiffany said, if you are a delusional conspiracy theorist, you should not be trusted to fly airline passengers.

    This has nothing to do with politics, it is about mental stability.

  66. The only reason to be concerned with such person would be if he’s suicidal.
    There are many different living styles and moral values out there. Billions of people on the communist sides, 10s of Thousands of them being airline pilots among many other high responsible duties. Why would you single him out? Just because he’s not like you?

  67. @ Ben — ” so does a company tolerate this kind of speech? I think reasonable people can disagree on that…” No, reasonable people cannot disagree on that. This guy should have been fired long ago. He is a racist and has no place serving as a pilot in public transportation.

  68. The pilot’s views may not be outside the mainstream of Allegiant’s customers, at least based on comments by Allegiant’s CEO about how their passengers have a different view of Covid…

  69. Not sure why your blog needs to give this type of stuff room to breathe, but thank you for reminding me why I’m leaving the US for good. This country is toxic.

  70. LOL real funny to see so many commenters willing to cut some slack and even defend this pilot.

    To all these guys – I wonder how many milliseconds it will take to change your opinion drastically if we were talking about a pilot from minority community, posting about his faith/beliefs, praising allah and his justice etc. without naming any known terrorist organizations.

    look in the mirror and ask yourself that question!

  71. How different the ‘product’ on this blog is now compared to 12 months ago. It may be a sign of the times but hopefully the market for a blog that goes after aviation staff based on their social media is very small.
    It strikes me that many of the population in Russia would be supporters of Putin and negative towards both Republicans and Democrats – are they mentally ill and should not be pilots?
    Ben it’s your blog and your freedom to express what you like, but I really hope you can focus on the future of travel and the opportunities to use points and miles for the experiences that should become possible this year. If not, a lot of people will be turned off I believe.

  72. Looks like the author is exhibiting a bit obsessive, stalker-like behavior and is doxing a complete stranger because he holds different political views.

    What exactly gives Ben the right to put a random person under the microscope on this blog? If there is a valid concern that this pilot could be a threat for the safety and well being of his passengers report him to the FAA and they will decide if a hearing is required.

    The activism on this platform is getting out of control. Masks, political leanings, sexual orientation and now doxing of strangers?

  73. If someone knowingly has these views and openly advertises the fact , then absolutely not

    Would you fly if you knew the crew were homophobic and anti Semitic ? Given his Twitter profile he most likely is.

    Sounds like a nut job and could be dangerous.

    Look at the former maga veteran who was killed in the Capitol. Anti vaxxer , homophobic etc. No sympathy for her

  74. I thought we are (maybe were) a country that values peoples opinions and views? Whether that’s age, sex, race, political views, etc. I don’t agree with this guy, but seems like we are so quick to judge people who aren’t like us, or who we don’t agree with. I know people who believe aliens are real, or that we never landed on the moon who work in high stress and profile jobs. (Law enforcement, healthcare.) I don’t call them out because I don’t agree with them.

  75. In this country at least for the interim there’s free speech and thought assuming one is not inciting violence, harm, etc. So he’s free to say what he wants and what he believes in that context.

    However, once he steps on the grounds of his employer (in this case an airplane) he is now expected to follow requirements of his employer on what is or isn’t allowed or appropriate. Political views and comments have no place from the cockpit. Period.

    Now as far as people “shaming” Lucky because of the articles he posts. I can assure Lucky that the same people berating you would leave this site in a nanosecond if your articles were “dried pieces” of credit card offers, hotel programs and the like. “Juicy” stories have always attracted more attention and they always will. More people will read with more interest the story of a local ax murder versus the firefighters that saved a little kitty stuck in a tree.

  76. I’m torn.

    First off, it’s employment at will and a company can pretty much fire a person at any time for any reason. I’m sure Allegiant Air (and most employers) have some sort of personal conduct policy and acting in a way that could damage their brand is grounds for termination. Did this pilot do that?? Probably. Allegiant has to look out for their bottom line and if this person damages their brand then they should probably go.

    i’m all for doxxing the jackasses who stormed the capital yesterday. The dude in the bear suit, put him on blast. The guy with his feet up on Pelosi’s desk – yup lets ruin his life. The dummy smiling while stealing the podium – he deserves whatever is coming to him.

    However, i’m nervous that this could become a slippery slope. While i’m generally liberal, people are certainly allowed to be conservative, have views that disagree with mine and even have views that appear to be extreme. I dont want to get into a position where company’s start firing people for attending a Trump rally, voicing concern for a conservative cause on facebook or arguing with liberals.

    There’s no perfect solution and i’m curious how this plays out.

  77. There are “conservative” views (which I heavily disagree with, but hey to each their own…I don’t think any RINOs are violently storming the capitol anytime soon).

    And there are now batsh!t crazy conspiracy views, Q Anon and the like, which are a true danger to society (and getting worse, now that some of these people are getting elected). Those are how Jan 6 happens.

    This pilot seems to fall in the latter camp – no way should he be in a position daily with 100+ lives at stake. Hope the wider press picks up this reporting. Good job OMAAT!

  78. @ Fabrizio S. The pilot is a security threat. You say that he hasn’t committed any crimes, so he’s cleared. First, he went to Donetsk, the area that legally belongs to Ukraine (a US ally) but occupied by Russia (a country hostile to the US). He certainly broke some laws from Ukraine’s point of view. And he did it on purpose. You also can’t claim that violation of other counties’ laws don’t count. Second, your expertise in screening employees is puzzling if you claim that only a person’s crime can be considered. What about red flags? Finally, for all the people who claim that the poor guy is needlessly vilified for political reasons, drop your defensive posturing. I have the right to know that this pilot frequents war zones occupied by the forces hostile to the US. While most of us don’t fly that airline, I DON’T WANT HIM FLYING ANYWHERE NEAR NEW YORK or any large city.

    It’s not cancel culture, which I can’t stand. It’s a security concern.

  79. I would imagine there are a lot of ATP pilots with extremist views. It’s a profession that attracts people that are not necessarily looking for a mainstream lifestyle. It’s not a 9-5 job. The fact that he isn’t being deceitful with his identity, could mean he is less of a threat. Often the real nut jobs are the ones we never see coming.

    I’m just glad there are two people in the cockpit.

  80. Ben, while I disagree with his position my greater concern is that you appear to be using your position to stop him from exercising his personal freedoms. Should we be concerned with you in your roll? Perhaps we should consider respectfully disagreeing with others and moving on rather than insisting everyone shares only our opinions.

  81. @Steve – truly an amazing “both sides” comparison between a pilot (with 100+ people under his care, and a possible weapon in the form of a plane), and Ben, with his travel blog. Pathetic.

    This pilot isn’t just a “conservative with a different view” – he is a white nationalist extremist (you know, the ones DHS said were the biggest threat of domestic terrorism). Figure out the difference.

  82. Frankly I’m amazed by the people in the comments section who suggest “can’t you respect someone who has different opinions?” There are lots of people with different opinions than me, and I can at a minimum tolerate them (for example, even if they’re anti-gay), and in many cases can even respect them.

    To the people making that point, I’d like to ask this, since people love to bring up Antifa. If someone said in their social media profile that they’re “enemy of ALL white people” and claimed “I considered joining Antifa, but when I figured out they help Proud Boys more than hurt them I decided against it.” Would you be cool with that?

    Or let’s talk about Muslims, another group that many here in the US like to fear. If an airline pilot had a social media profile that said “future citizen of Saudi Arabia, supporter of MBS,” etc., would you be cool with that? And that second example isn’t even nearly as extreme…

    This gets back at the double standard from what we saw at the US Capitol a couple of days ago. Could you imagine how differently things would have ended if the people storming the Capitol were Black or Muslim? The death toll would be unimaginable…

  83. Ironically, Russia would never allow this man to fly a passenger plane because he is, any way you look at it, a security threat (strong anti-government views combined with his sympathies for hostile countries). But sadly, nothing can be done about this, because the left cried wolf too many times. I am left of center politically, but as an educator I was attacked by leftist extremist for trivial things. I hate cancel culture. Other people are harassed for their political views, as well. Consequently, I am not surprised that conservatives on this thread see your post as a politically motivated attack instead of recognizing the obvious: the pilot is a security threat to the US and its citizens. He would not be allowed to fly in most other countries.

  84. No, I wouldn’t be cool with an open and vocal Islamic extremist piloting my plane.

    The difference is there’re plenty of well-qualified people at both Allegiant(and any company) and our intelligence agencies whose daily job it is to keep track of those and decide whether or not they have the capacity to perform their tasks.

    I wouldn’t use my platform to direct hate and demand some form of reprehension against a specific person just cause I don’t like the stuff he(assuming your “credible” sources are credible and it is in fact him) posts online – i’m neither qualified, nor have any moral justification to make such judgement and demands.

    Speaking of double standards, something tells me if the guy was saying “enemy of all white people” you wouldn’t make a story of it.

    So no, you may believe all you want that you’re doing a service to the community/society, but all you really are is a cheap snitch doing the typical “let me play the moral high-ground and cancel a dude, cause i know better that yall and wanna look good”. End of story.

  85. I agree with more than half the posters here – we come to this website to GET AWAY from all the politics! It’s enough already – I get you’re an anti Trumper and all that comes with it. Even though it’s obvious, I’m still happy to come to your website, as I know it has no reflection on your ability to deliver straight aviation news. Please go back to that.


  86. Thank you for sharing this story, @Ben. This individual’s perception of reality concerns my as a potential flyer, who entrusts his life in the hands of those flying planes
    And for those of you who are complaining about things being too “political” – keep in mind that for some humans, our mere existence has been political thanks to others who wish to deny us the same rights others have. That you are able to ignore or avoid politics speaks to the enormous privilege you have. Of course, you won’t see it that way, which is why the USA is where it is…

  87. I think we are missing the point. Being prone to conspiratorial thinking is a deficit of logic. The conspiracist has lost his or her rational faculties. We say we want pilots to be calm, cool, and collected (and competent). This individual has shown that he does not have those qualities.

    It is well within the scope of this travel blog to discuss airline matters–this pilot works for an airline. This pilot is a conspiracist. Conspiracists aren’t rational. Pilots need to be rational. Therefore, he should not be a pilot.

  88. The fact that some people believe if POC climbed the Capitol they would have been killed is absolutely ridiculous, it’s not even worth discussing. But Ben, the fact that you bring that up shows that you are willing to bring politics to your blogs, and for that reason, I am no longer a supporter. It’s a shame because I grew up reading your blog and looked up to you.

  89. Love all the arm chair psychiatrists on this blog who have determined this man is mentally unfit.

    Does he have wild theories? Sure does!

    Does that make him a risk as a pilot? Not in the slightest.

    Truly sad that Ben decided to use his voice to take this man down. I’d argue that if he loses his job due to Ben’s hit job, he is much more likely to commit a violent crime.

    Great job! Only a matter of time before Allegiant axes him.

  90. Have you seen some of the Tweets of some of the pilot representatives, who speak on behalf of the Air Line Pilots Association? They plead for payroll support from Rs and Ds in Congress, but many if not most of their their social media posts are downright hateful, ridiculing only Rs…something about biting the hand that feeds you.

    You can peruse them today. One is the “Senior Comms Director” for WeAreALPA. The worst part is that many of their pithy statements are misinformed, and in some cases hateful. The fact of the matter is that I don’t give a damn what my doctor, dentist, pilot, electrician, roofer, or taxi driver thinks about politics. The question is, how good are they at their trade?

    Incidentally, you pose a hypothetical in one of your replies about what if “Blacks or Muslims” were part of the riots/protests/insurrection this week. Factually, there were two smaller groups within that massive crowd. “Blacks for Trump” and “Muslims for Trump”. This blog posts strikes me as tone deaf, and suspiciously one-sided, not at all contributing to its mission.

  91. Ben, I agree with the commenter that said this used to be a good travel blog. I find your travel reviews and trip reports to be excellent. I used your reports in planning my own travel, whether it was which airlines to travel on, which hotels to stay at, etc. While I realize that the current pandemic climate has made these sort of reviews few and far between, I think this post has been too much.

    I held my tongue when the same people that discuss what first class is the best, partially based on what type of caviar and wine is offered, complained how entitled people with ESO animals are (pot meet kettle). I come here for the former (sure I guess that means I am entitled) and not the later.

    This post for me is unfortunately the last resort. While I realize that this is your blog, and you can choose to report about whatever you want, we as readers of your blog also have a choice on whether we want to read a blog that has denigrated into tangential-at-best travel items. This has nothing to do with my agreement or disagreement with this pilot’s views (I disagree if it matters) or my political position (Democrat which, again, should not matter). This blog has unfortunately changed from the reason why I originally started visiting this site 4 to 5 times a day.

    Thank you for the great reviews and reports that you have produced over the past several years, they have been tremendous help to me in my adventures. I am one of your readers (it sounds like there are several based on comments) that will not be visiting your site anymore, but that is ok. One of the great things we have in living in a free country is the ability to make our own choices, both about what we write about as a blog, as well as what we decide to spend our time reading. I am sure there will be people that comment about this comment and why write it. And I am sure part of the reason is cathartic. But the main purpose in my mind is to provide honest feedback on what at least one of your regular readers over the past several years thinks about the current direction of this blog, and why that individual no longer enjoys reading items here.

    Thank you and I wish you all the best.

  92. @Lucky
    ” If an airline pilot had a social media profile that said “future citizen of Saudi Arabia, supporter of MBS,” etc., would you be cool with that?”

    YES. It is simply none of my business and I have to trust the airlines and authorities to do their jib in ensuring passenger safety. We cannot take that into our own hands.
    And frankly, I find it disturbing that you would think sniffing out peoples social media accounts and making assertions about their mental health based on their posts is ok in any way. It is not! It’s overreaching, arrogant and destroys freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

    And I urge anyone reading this to ask you to stop doing that. Please reconsider.

    PS: There was nothing extreme or unusual about the political views of Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings pilot. Nothing at all.

  93. Ben – thank you for sharing this information. Like many Trump supporters he appears to suffer from paranoid delusions and a sense of overwhelming entitlement. What happens when that conflicts with his piloting job? This is how you get incidents like the Wife Approved, LLC pilot.

  94. LOL so many triggered Trumpies oinking about political content even as they spew their political garbage. It’s really something to see so many supposed adults live their lives in a state of permanent tantrum.

  95. Ben gods to share the info unlike the majority that you claim we should all follow, as a war veteran I believe in differences of opinions. Therefore unless he is mentally ill or has a tendency to hurt people he’s fine with me. Your really hurtling and airline that has done nothing wrong.

  96. I have over 150 flights on Allegiant (used to fly them 2x a week almost every week between work and home) and can honestly say this isn’t even close to the weirdest thing that goes on with that airline. LOL

  97. I would not fly on Allegint regardless of the pilot. But in a hypothetical where a pilot with similar beliefs was the pilot on a flight where I was a passenger, sure, if he’s good at his day job.

  98. @Tiffany Re: your response to @Jay. You could of course create an infographic from a post that agrees with trying to get a pilot fired for his views and his social media content, if that’s what you want.

    However, looking at the totality of the comments it seems that many of your customers are telling you that this type of content is not what they want. You’ll decide whether to listen or not, but that’s the clear trend from the majority of those who have responded.

    As someone else said, it’s undoubtedly a difficult time for a travel blog right now, but everyone on here wants OMAAT to thrive and to emerge successfully from the pandemic. It may be that ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ and for sure this article generated a lot of comments so the metrics may be positive, but I hope you can accept the constructive feedback that content like this will not help you to thrive.

  99. On the other hand, this story could save a couple hundred lives from being intentionally lost someday

  100. Lol, I don’t see the same anger from some of you when the CAPTIAL got STORMED. Would you allow a pilot who preached about ISIS fly a plane? Nope. This guy is another MAGA right wing domestic terrorist. I’m glad you brought this to our attention and the airlines attention. In the current climate I have no doubt one of these nut jobs can and will fly a plane into soft target just to prove a point.

  101. @ Mr.H — Let me just acknowledge what you’re saying. I hear you. More generally, it’s very hard to figure out the right balance of content right now.

    Credit card posts? “You’re a sellout!”
    Flight deals and/or travel reviews? “Don’t encourage travel.”
    Actual current travel news, which unfortunately involves people largely misbehaving in airports? “Don’t get political!”

    I’m coming up on 13 years of blogging. My approach to content on this blog has always been to write about what I find interesting. This industry is my passion, and overall writing about what my gut tells me has served me well. After all, I’m still here this many years later, and I’m lucky enough to call this my job. At the same time, I’ve published tens of thousands of posts, and I’ll happily acknowledge that I don’t always get things right. I’m human.

    In this case I stand by this post, for reasons I’ve explained above. Do I understand that this isn’t what some people come here for? Absolutely, and I think that’s fair. But I also think it’s easy enough for people not to click on posts that don’t interest them, because it’s not like the content of this post was a secret based on the title.

    To those who say they’ve been reading for years and that this is your last time reading this blog, I’m sorry to see you go (though I do find it interesting how many people claiming that have never left a comment prior to this… hmmm).

    I’m sorry that you only enjoyed the site so marginally that a few posts you disagree with outweigh the value you’ve otherwise gotten from the tens of thousands of posts I’ve put my soul into. While it makes me sad, I won’t lose any sleep over it. The reason I’m still here writing so many years later and am not burned out is because I try to stay true to myself. If I were doing this for others, or if negative feedback impacted me much, I’d probably be miserable.

    I also think it’s important to acknowledge that travel is inherently political. Not acknowledging that isn’t doing a service to reality. Sure, I get that talking about the current US political cycle might not be travel related, but our beliefs systems and laws around the world can have a huge impact on how we experience travel.

    Again, thanks for the feedback, I’ll keep it in mind going forward, and here’s to hoping the world heals a bit and returns to normal(ish) in the coming months. I’m itching to do another six transpacific flights in five days, or something. 😉

  102. Lucky, you can’t reason with these people. It’s like a cult. They’re right and everyone is wrong. You can’t have an opinion. You can’t bash the supreme leader. You must fall in line with them or else you’re the enemy. I’m sick of these people, even after our Capital was stormed and 5 people died these people still keep yapping.

    You pointed out a right wing extremist Pilot who is a clearly insane and has a political agenda which could lead him to do something dangerous like fly a plane into a building but yet you get attacked. Imagine if this guy was Muslim or Black.

  103. Slow clap Ben! And great thoughts too Tiffany.

    I do truly hope that after Jan 20, we may start seeing some normalization again in the US, and with better vaccine distribution & coordination throughout the spring, more pure travel discussions soon enough.

  104. Disclaimer I do not vote for either major party presidential candidate. The pilot is annoying but so was the Hamilton actor that decided he could lecture Vice-President elect what’s his mane during a performance.

  105. Simple, last week I went up to the cockpit of a 767-400, where I spent roughly 10 minutes talking to the pilots about the beautify of flying the plane, first off none of them wore masks, and 2, towards the end of the conversation, both pilots began sharing some rather extremist right beliefs. Yet again, I personal believe that we all as humans are allowed to posses our own opinions, and we all have the right to do so, I will never lose respect for a person due to their beliefs, because that’s just what intolerant people used to do to the LGBT community. Instead I respect his opinions, before he asked us to take our seats so they can finish preparations. Not once did I believe that his piloting skill would’ve been affected by his political beliefs. In this case, it’s unfair to completely judge this pilot for his beliefs, has he done any dangerous actions while flying? Flown in a rather hazard or rough way? Has he endangered the life of his passenger/improper communication? Unless he has any of these, I don’t see a single problem here other than this post being incited by political beliefs

  106. In contrast to what poster $ wrote: “Being a police officer is completely different from being a pilot… completely different roles. Just because a pilot is in charge of his or her passengers doesn’t mean they are sworn officers of the law and carry guns…,”
    For your information, actually some pilots are sworn officers of the law and do carry guns. So many of you people have no idea what you’re talking about as far as the airline industry.

  107. @Ben and @Tiffany. I struggle to understand the point of this article. CC article = sign up for this card because of great benefits. Trip article = if you get the chance go here and you can see and experience that.

    Is this post a public service announcement that anyone who flies allegiant should get off the plane if this guy is introduced as the captain? Is it that I should try a quick Twitter or Facebook search once the captain of any flight I am on is introduced? I think it is good that you flagged this concern to allegiant so they could proper evaluate him and as Tiffany said maybe have some conversations with him about what his posts could mean to people reading them or just have a conversation if he is caught up or mad or frustrated or whatever.

    By sharing this article – which of course people absolutely can choose not to read because it is very obvious the tone of it by the title – and providing this forum for discussion you are absolutely responsible for elevating the frustration level of many more people today. You can read the anger and hate in several of these posts. This dialogue – which for the most part is civil – does contain a number of inflammatory posts – which if read enough times or in a bad mood could push someone over the edge.

    I don’t envy you in this. You are 100% responsible for all of the dialog here – the good and the bad. The educational and edifying as well as the degrading and the hate mongering.

    I am fiercely proud to be an American, even with all of our failures and faults, and glad that you, me and all of us have the right to free expression and speech. But with that right comes great responsibility because our words our incredibly powerful – for good or evil.

    Keep up the blogging I enjoy it and you insights and ideas – but I would encourage you in light of all the events in the last 6-9 months culminating with the madness at the Capitol this week – please consider what you post – how people are likely to respond and ask yourself if this will help our country heal or drive more division.

    This is the power you hold with this blog I beg that you use it for unity and healing.

  108. You know why people resort to “cancel culture?”
    Because their ideology lacks merit.
    He’s a free person just like you. Does he publicly criticize your actions or beliefs?
    As long as he does his job safely and well, you should probably stop participating in what has become a dangerous new practice in personal interactions. When conjecture morphs into a full-on bloodsport people should be smart enough to step back. You seem like a smart guy.

  109. Allegiant has historically hired pilots major carriers have passed on, either due to psychological evaluations – flying performance, FAA violations or personality. Thankfully flying airplanes is relatively simple – it’s when judgement and decision making is needed to avert crisis do pilots earn their keep, this Joe has neither. I won’t get on his plane

  110. @DeePee – he seems pretty indoctrinated in the movement that just had an insurrection at the US Capitol. These people are sick and are trending violent – there are a lot of jobs out there that he could do that don’t put 100+ lives at danger every day.

  111. bruh imagine trying to pretend that travel isn’t inherently political and that coming to a travel blog somehow means you deserve to “get away from politics”

    By the way, some travelers will always deal with politics while thinking about travel; being able to ignore politics is a privilege that many of us do not have. I truly feel sorry for commenters who are unable to understand that simple concept.

  112. Ben & Tiffany. Wholeheartedly support you and your reasoned arguments. You are coming from a good place and sometimes you just have to go with what you think is right, even though you take some flak for it. I happen to 100% agree with your points. Furthermore, I think it shows a great deal of courage what you are doing. Furthermore, I greatly admire your tolerance and respect in your replies to some truly idiotic comments. Respect.

  113. Hang Pence is trending now – should we find every pilot or FA that used that and get them fired?

  114. @ Jane doe — Yes, that’s disgusting. I would find it extremely concerning if anyone would Tweet something like that.

    I think there’s still an important distinction, though. It’s one thing to say something so horrible about one person (which again, I find to be unacceptable), but I think it’s a bit worse to literally say that you hate almost everyone, rather than just one person.

    Neither is acceptable, and I’d certainly take issue with anyone who is Tweeting either thing…

  115. Whether or not I agree that this guy is mentally stable or not (although I personally tend towards the not) is irrelevant to what I’d like to add to this discussion. I *do* believe that Allegiant should be made aware of the situation so that they might be able to have appropriate conversations with him (imagine how the Germanwings situation might have turned out differently if they had been more aware of their pilot’s mental state).
    However, my point is this…. I don’t believe that Ben should be using his forum in this way to *publicly* out the Allegiant pilot. It’s not what the forum is for, and is certainly not what readers come here for. If Ben has genuine concerns, he can raise them with the airline (as he has done), and/or the police, but then leave it there – he’s done his duty. Why is it so necessary to go public and stir up emotions in this way? It almost has elements of an old lynch mob.
    I can’t say that I’ve been impressed with the increase in political tone that Ben’s blogs have taken over the last year or so and wonder if it’s either because he’s bored, with hardly any travel to keep him occupied, or that by posting obviously controversial subjects he can help increase clickthroughs and thereby boost his potential revenue stream?
    So Ben, please, please, please take heed of the number of negative comments above from subscribers that you’re potentially turning away, stick to what you’re good at, and maintain your credibility as a good travel blogger.

  116. @ Jane doe — That really doesn’t make the point you think it does. Assassinating the Vice President was one of the primary goals of the seditionists who invaded the US Capitol building on Wednesday.

    Did they not show the gallows, nor the violent crowds demanding to know where Pence was, so that he could be hanged, on Fox?

    The release of this footage (~2:50 here), and the abject disgust at the thought, is what caused that topic to trend, not some liberal tantrum response.

    So actually yes, absolutely, anyone who is calling for the extrajudicial killings of the 1-2-3 positions in the Presidential line of succession should be investigated, and if I were an airline (or any company) I would not want to employ them regardless, given they clearly lack the ability to exercise good judgment in all situations.

    Those continuing to pretend this is a “both sides” situation are not helping anything.

  117. @red_robbo – this sicko wasn’t “outed” by Ben…he self-outed himself plenty over the past couple years already.

  118. Thanks for proving my point Tiffany and Ben – as long as you are a supporter of Trump and say disgusting things you should lose your job (that is unacceptable hate speech)

    However if Maxine Waters encouraging you to attack Trump cabinet members and family (which by the way is still available on YouTube to watch) – this is acceptable hate speech

    If you are intellectually honest you could condemn hate speech by others in the Democratic Party. List how many people have been fired by employers for Portland damage to federal building or throwing explosive devices there.

    As a democratic who has many conservative friends I understand when they say they know they have to stay in the closet with conservative views – these are not radical views they have – they just happen to have run of the mill conservative views. (They are not racist, they don’t hate women,etc.) They always have to fake being a liberal as they know the cancel culture could accidentally knock on their door.

    I have read this thread twice and amazed how any conservative though is pushed back hard.

    I for one feel for the other side in this debate as it’s tearing the country apart .

  119. @ Jane Doe — Until Trump, I was a lifetime Republican. I’m the granddaughter of two Colonels, and truly love this deeply flawed country. I understand what you say about people feeling pushed, because I have absolutely been pushed out of the GOP for not being interested in supporting a fascist. I agree with you that the polarization is unhelpful.

    But there is absolutely nothing — not one single thing — remotely conservative about violently attempting to overthrow the legally elected government. Inciting a mob to murder is a little more than slightly different than vandalism, and it’s embarrassing to even talk about them in the same conversation. And stating that trying to violently overthrow democracy should probably have some pretty serious consequences is not “cancel culture” or even “hate speech”, and that’s frankly a ridiculous comparison.

    I am intellectually honest — far more so than you appear willing to be. Rep. Waters didn’t call for Trump cabinet members to be “attacked”; she said they should be pushed out of the public sphere, harangued, and told they weren’t welcome in local businesses after it came out the administration was separating children from their parents in what she felt was an act of genocide. The exact same behavior, I might add, that was applied by Trump supporters against Senator Graham at DCA yesterday, and which I promptly decried.

    You want to talk about actually conservative principles, like reducing environmental regulations, promoting supply-side economics, corporate incentives vs. taxation, how best to fund schools, or I dunno, perhaps not assassinating the Vice President, etc., those thoughts are absolutely welcome here. Reasonable people can disagree on a whole host of issues, and that is wonderful.

    If “run of the mill conservatives” can’t understand the differences between policy debates and outright violent extremist sedition, I, for one, don’t feel the need to pretend they are debating in good faith.

  120. Ben, I’m in total agreement with you. To those who claim this article was “political’ are way off! Of course this is travel related as it involves an airline pilot who flies passengers who may possibly endanger their lives given his extreme views and possible unstable mental state. And those vociferous responses from readers who are chastising you spend an inordinate amount of time and effort to read and then blast you for it. No one is forcing them to read this – one can simply ignore it…but no… they have to have their 2 cents worth. It boggles my mind to see so many Americans brainwashed in their extreme illogical ideology as one would think you’d be more evolved….its truly tragic. And Ben I shall continue to be a loyal reader given your well written reviews and articles – keep up the great work!

  121. The current state of America: “I could care less as long as he gets me there”…………….that is the point here, just maybe one of his rants goes far enough to not “get you there”. America really has lost it’s direction.

    Those of you who commented against this post are part of the problem going on in your country.

  122. It is funny to read the comments from people who claim this pilot’s personal views are irrelevant to his job. I wonder if they would think the same if he was a Muslim extremist who was supportive of terrorist orgs like Al Qaeda/ISIS. My guess is they would consider him to be unfit to be a pilot.

  123. I feel as though a person with such radicalistic thoughts, associations, and political views would be fit to fly in the sky and most likely would be removed in an abundance of caution. However, sometimes people are needed on the inside to egg on the other and illuminate the dark spots of the unknown, which is what we really should be fearing.

  124. I absolutely would not feel safe knowing that this man is in the cockpit. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

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