American Airlines captain praised for candid announcement to passengers: ‘Nobody wants to hear your video’

An American Airlines captain has been praised for the candid announcement about plane etiquette he gave to his passengers ahead of their flight.

The footage of the flight was shared to Instagram on 26 July by plane passenger and comedian, Anna Leah Maltezos. In the video, the captain could be heard over the the plane’s intercom beginning his speech by encouraging travellers to treat flight attendants nicely. He also joked that his “will” is what the airline’s employees were primarily focused on.

“Remember the flight attendants are primarily here for your safety, after that they’re going to make your flight more enjoyable,” he said. “They’re going to take care of you guys, but you will listen to what they have to say because they represent my will in the cockpit or in the cabin. And my will is what matters.”

He continued his advice by encouraging passengers to “be nice” and “respectful” to each other. However, according to the captain, he didn’t feel like he should “have to say” something.

“You people should treat people the way you want to be treated. But I have to say it every single flight because people don’t,” he added. “And they’re selfish and rude and we won’t have it.”

The captain went on to tell passengers to make sure that they’re keeping their carry-on items “out of everybody else’s way”. After emphasising that passengers should keep their “junk where it belongs,” he went on to list things that people shouldn’t do on a plane.

“Everybody paid for a space. Don’t lean on other people. Don’t fall asleep on other people,” he said. “Don’t drool on them unless you’ve talked about it and they have a weather-resistant jacket.”

He then offered advice to passengers who choose to play videos out loud or talk on their phones via speakerphone.

“The social experiment of listening to videos on speaker mode and talking on a cell phone in speaker mode, that is over,” he said. “Over and done in this country. Nobody wants to hear your video. I know you think it’s super sweet. It probably is, but it’s your business, right? So keep it to yourself.”

The captain told travellers to use headphones while watching anything on their devices, before adding: “That’s your business, okay? It’s just part of being in a respectful society.”

He concluded his speech by giving a shoutout to “middle seaters,” telling them to raise their hands. It appears that only a few middle seaters raised their hands, since the captain claimed that he only saw “five” hands up and quipped that “no one was listening”.

However, as he acknowledged that middle seats “suck,” he made a kind offer to these passengers, adding: “You own both armrests. That is my gift to you. Welcome on board our flight.”

In the background of the video, there were few confused reactions to the speech, with some travellers heard saying: “What’s going on?” and “Jesus.”

As of 3 August, the Instagram video has more than 4.6m views, with many social media users praising the airline captain for the candid and amusing remarks.

“He’s not wrong. For him to say this, that means he’s fed up with all these childish adults,” one person wrote, while another added: “They should get this guy to write the official pre-flight checks.”

A third quipped: “My guy just blessed all middle seaters with a huge W. Both armrests? Epic.”

Other Instagram users went on to mock and criticise the travellers in the video, who appeared to be confused by the American Airlines employee’s speech.

“The people complaining about his speech are the people that need to hear it,” one person claimed, while another agreed: “If you’re offended by this speech, congrats, you’re the problem. Lol.”

“To the woman who asks ‘what’s going on?’ is part of the reason he has to do this speech every flight,” a third wrote. “No one wants to behave or listen so the principal has to step in and lay down the rules.”

Speaking to People about the flight, Maltezos noted that as a “comedy writer,” she thought the speech was “entertaining” and she “appreciated the early-morning laugh”. She also said that, despite the comments in the posts, she didn’t see any “negative vibes” on the plane.

“I didn’t really notice much of a reaction from the other passengers besides the woman seated next to me. I can’t speak for her, but it seemed like she found it humorous,” she explained. “As the moment’s documentarian, my reaction would have ruined the cinema verite. But had I been just another passenger on the plane, I probably would have clapped as is custom after a rousing speech.”

However, according to Maltezos, the passengers seemed “oddly quiet” after the speech. She also joked that she thought the silence could have been because “everyone was just so awed by the gift of double armrests they were left speechless”.

The Independent has contacted American Airlines and Maltezos for comment.

This isn’t the first time that an airline employee has gone viral with an announcement on a flight. In April, a Spirit Airlines flight attendant sparked a debate after she gave an announcement about why the plane doesn’t offer certain amenities.

“Just a heads up, hi. No, we do not have sockets for you to plug up your phone,” she said. “Because if we did, this is Spirit and we will charge you.”

She went on to repeat the claim about money after asking passengers what the airline would do if they did have headphones for passengers. “Come on y’all, if we had it we would charge you and give you something to complain about,” she said.

While some people praised the flight attendant for the funny remarks, others claimed that her bit was “unprofessional”.

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