Two EasyJet pilots were suspended after playing with Snapchat and Instagram while operating a commercial flight at 30,000 feet. The airline says it will investigate the complaints but insists that the flight was operated safety thanks to its cruise control feature. Travelers aren’t as comforted.
On Wednesday, Captain Michel Castellucci posted a video of his co-pilot dancing with one of Snapchat’s animated owls seated on the controls in the cockpit. While sharing the video on his Instagram page, Castellucci captioned it, “Dancing first officer in cruise doing paperwork.” The pair were flying the Airbus A320 from Paris to Madrid, yet no one was steering or bothering to look at the path.
“The cockpit duo were not focused on the controls, just on having a good time. It only takes seconds for something catastrophic to go wrong, even in cruise control,” one Instagram user commented. The video of the pilots goofing off was viewed over 6,000 times and received dozens of worried comments before the account was deleted.
Before Castellucci deleted his account, he initially doubled-down on the stunt, despite receiving immediate backlash. He posted another selfie on Instagram with an animated bear on his face, asking followers if they wanted “more” from him and his colleague, whom he named “#TeamFlyingnut.”
EasyJet has since suspended the pair and hinted at plans to take other disciplinary action, but continues to assure passengers that it was no big deal. “At no point was the safety of the passengers compromised,” a spokesman said.
While cruise control seems to be enough for EasyJet, passengers and other travelers would like the low-cost airline to accept more responsibility, even if it is a no-frills air service. Social media users are making the case that if passengers can’t get in-flight entertainment, neither should the pilots.