"Be respectful to each other. I shouldn’t have to say that," the unnamed pilot could be heard saying in an Instagram video that has acquired 4.6 million views
An American Airlines pilot has gone viral after making an important announcement about travel etiquette.
In an Instagram video shared by comedy writer Anna Leah Maltezos that has racked up over 4.6 million views, the unnamed captain can be heard going through everything from how to listen to music and properly speak to flight attendants to the rights of the person in the middle seat,
The captain's stern yet humorous speech struck a chord with many on social media amid a serious uptick in passengers misbehaving on planes in recent years.
American Airlines did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
He first reminded passengers how he felt they should treat the cabin crew.
“Remember, the flight attendants are here for your safety," the pilot announced at the start of the preflight speech. "After that, they’re here to make your flight more enjoyable. 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 cabin, and my will is what matters."
His words quickly garnered the attention of Maltezos' fellow passengers, who could be heard saying in the background, "Jesus" and "What is going on?"
"Be nice to each other," the pilot continued. "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."
The pilot then continued his speech by reminding his passengers to keep their carry-on items "out of everybody else's way."
"Put your junk where it belongs," he said. "Everybody paid for a space. Don’t lean on other people. Don’t fall asleep on other people. Don’t drool on them unless you’ve talked about it and they have a weather-resistant jacket."
He then finished his speech by sharing "a little bit of fatherhood."
"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. Use your AirPods, use your headphones, whatever it is. That’s your business, okay? It’s just part of being in a respectful society."
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He added a potentially less universally agreed upon note at the end.
"Middle seaters, I know it stinks to be in the middle . . .You own both armrests. That is my gift to you. Welcome on board our flight.”
Maltezos, the viral videographer, shared her thoughts about the unusual situation with PEOPLE.
"As a comedy writer, I found it entertaining and I appreciated the early-morning laugh," she wrote in an email. "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." Some people in the post's comments "seemed to think she was upset" says Maltezos, "but I genuinely think she was just surprised by it, because we shared a laugh about it after."
"I didn't notice any negative vibes or reactions on the plane, just a chuckle here and there, she continued. "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. It did seem oddly quiet afterward though...maybe everyone was just so awed by the gift of double armrests they were left speechless."
American Airlines states on its website that safety is a top priority when it comes to flight etiquette.
"We're also committed to providing a positive and dependable travel experience for all of our customers," the site reads. "We hope this information will help you prepare for your trip. We understand traveling can be stressful, and we appreciate your patience and courtesy."
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