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'Let's Go Brandon' or 'Let's Go Braves'? Confusion over what Southwest pilot really said

Many internet sleuths, analyzing the audio being circulated as the incident's audio, wonder if the pilot really signed off with the anti-Biden chant
A Southwest Airlines airplane taxies from a gate at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
A Southwest Airlines airplane taxies from a gate at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

After it was reported that Associated Press reporter Colleen Long got nearly ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight for asking the pilot to comment following what appeared to be him signing off with the controversial 'Let's Go Brandon' phrase, more confusion have set in as the latest update suggests that the pilot may have said “Let’s go, Braves!” instead of the anti-Biden chant. 

The incident occurred over the weekend when Long was one of the many passengers on the October 29 Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque. Reportedly, the pilot, who hasn't been publicly identified, signed off his announcement with the phrase 'Let's Go Brandon, "to audible gasps from some passengers." Immediately, the AP reporter sprung into action. She asked the cabin crew to unlock the cockpit, so she could interview the pilot but was denied. She claims the request nearly ended with her being booted off the flight. 


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Long later chronicled her in-flight experience in a story for AP and tweeted, "TFW you’re trying to go on vacation and then the pilot says the very thing you’re working on over the loudspeaker and you have to try to get him comment but then almost get removed from plane." She added a second to that thread, saying, "Also in defense of airline I was asking them to open locked cock pit and probably sounded insane!" The tweet soon went viral with the Southwest pilot now being investigated for using the words in his message to passengers.


What did the pilot say?

But now, many internet sleuths who have analyzed the audio being passed around with the reporter's story, are questioning if the pilot actually said the phrase, "Let's Go Brandon." The audio being passed around does not seem to be clear and in fact, it's clipped in places. As a result, many have wondered if the pilot actually said, “Let’s go, Braves!” 

Then there is confusion regarding the clip itself. Washington Examiner senior commentator Becket Adams, pointed out via a tweet, “***hold up, guys*** the audio included that New York Post story dates back to at least Oct. 12. See date on this tweet … the Associated Press reporter claims she heard her pilot say ‘LGB’ on **Oct. 29**." If the timeline proves true, then the audio clip was reportedly from early last month, so it could not have been recorded on Long’s flight.


Meanwhile, The Spectator editor Stephen L. Miller pointed out that a Forbes article on Long's experience pointed out that the audio being circulated on Twitter was the same one that Long was addressing in her tweet. The article noted that a TikTok user on the flight recorded the audio of the pilot ending his message with, "Thank you for flying Southwest Airlines. Welcome aboard. Let's go, Brandon." In another tweet, he noted, "There is a lot of confusion about this going around. The tiktok of the pilot, who appears to be saying "Lets Go Braves" is from October 11th. It's not the same instance as the allegation made by the AP reporter, which she claims she heard on her flight on 10/29."



It must be noted that no audio has as of now been connected to Long’s report via the Associated Press. If she recorded the audio of the incident, she has not uploaded the same on Twitter. As a result, The Washington Post reporting that passengers cheered and jeered the pilot over the alleged statement also has no evidence to back it up, except Long's claim. There is also no proof of Long trying to storm the cockpit to get a statement from the pilot after the flight landed. 

In a statement posted on social media Sunday, Southwest Airlines asserted that the company “takes pride in providing a welcoming, comfortable, safe and respectful environment for the millions of customers who fly with us each year.” The airline stressed that it “does not condone employees sharing their personal political opinions while on the job serving our Customers,” also noting that “one employee’s individual perspective should not be interpreted as the viewpoint of Southwest and its collective 54,000 employees. Southwest is conducting an internal investigation into the recently reported event and will address the situation directly with any employee involved while continuing to remind all employees that public expression of personal opinions while on duty is unacceptable."