A Southwest Airlines pilot was captured in a TikTok video threatening to cancel a flight if a passenger didn’t stop sending unsolicited nude photos to other passengers.
The incident, involving Apple’s AirDrop file transfer service, occurred during a flight in late August from Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
“So here’s the deal, if this continues while we’re on the ground I’m going to have to pull back to the gate, everybody’s going to have to get off, we’re going to have to get security involved and … vacation is going to be ruined,” the pilot can be heard telling passengers over the plane’s intercom.
The video, which has been viewed more than 3 million times on TikTok, was recorded and posted by Teighlor Marsalis. She told CNN she’d just boarded the plane when she received a notification of a file being shared on AirDrop, which allows iPhone owners to share files, photos, videos and links with other nearby iPhones.
@teighmars @robloxsouthwestair takes airdropping nudes very seriously. #AEJeansSoundOn#WorldPrincessWeek♬ original sound – Teighlor Marsalis
Marsalis said she declined the file but that two women nearby who’d accepted it showed her the image.
“It was a nude man that had AirDropped himself to everyone,” she said.
Marsalis said she started recording her video after another passenger alerted a flight attendant, who then proceeded to the cockpit to alert the pilot. After attendants checked on passengers and conducted safety presentations, the flight departed, she said.
Cyberflashing, the practice of sending unsolicited and explicit photos to nearby strangers, disproportionately targets young women. More than half of women between the ages of 18 and 29 have received unsolicited images, according to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center.
Southwest Airlines said it couldn’t confirm the authenticity of the video but said it considers the comfort of passengers a chief concern.
“The safety, security and wellbeing of customers and employees is the Southwest team’s highest priority at all times. 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.