(NEXSTAR) – A captain with American Airlines is earning support for a pre-flight speech in which he warned passengers to be courteous, respectful, and to generally refrain from being jerks to their seatmates.
Footage containing the no-nonsense speech was shared to social media by Anna Leah Maltezos, an NYC-based writer, director and comedian who was on the recent flight.
“It was an early morning flight out of NYC that had been delayed for a bit, so maybe he was just trying to lighten the mood,” Maltezos theorized in a statement shared with Nexstar concerning the captain’s sassy speech.
Maltezos’ video, which has approximately 5 million views on Instagram, begins with the captain in mid-speech, lecturing passengers on the need to abide by the flight attendants’ instructions.
“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,” the captain can be heard saying in the video.
The pilot then outlines the behaviors he expects from passengers.
“Be nice to each other, be respectful to each other. I shouldn’t have to say that. 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, and they’re selfish and rude. And we won’t have it, OK?” the captain says.
He follows by urging passengers to “put your junk where it belongs” in the appropriate areas for stowed luggage, and to keep their bags — and themselves — away from seatmates.
“Don’t lean on other people, don’t fall asleep on other people, don’t pass out on other people or drool on them, unless you’ve talked about it and they have a weather-resistant jacket,” the captain says.
Pivoting to cellphone usage, the pilot warns against using any mobile devices without headsets.
“That is over. Over and done in this country,” he says. “Nobody wants to hear your video. I know you think [your video is] super sweet, and it probably is, but it’s your business, right? So keep it to yourself. Use your Airpods, use your headphones, whatever it is. That’s your business, OK? It’s just part of being in a respectful society.”
Before ending his speech, the pilot gives a “gift” to all the middle-seaters on the aircraft after trying, and failing, to get them all to raise their hands.
“Alright, nobody’s listening, fine,” he says, seemingly exasperated. “You own both armrests. That is my gift to you. Welcome onboard our flight.”
It’s unclear how the passengers on the plane reacted to the speech, Maltezos and plenty of her followers seemed quite amused, with many defending the pilot.
“He’s not wrong. For him to say this, that means he’s fed up with all these childish adults,” one commenter remarked.
“This is giving ‘I will turn this whole plane around’ energy and I’m here for it,” another said.
“As a flight attendant for over 35 years (not for AA) … all I can say is bravo Captain!” someone else wrote.
Maltezos, who likened the lecture to a “TED talk,” added that she’d be curious to learn the captain’s backstory.
“I bet he’s got some wild, wild stories,” she told Nexstar.
“He and the crew did a great job of flying us safely past some pretty intense storms later in the flight, so (in addition to the laugh) I’m grateful he got us to our destination in one piece,” she added.
A representative for American Airlines did not return repeated requests for comment on the viral video.
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