Watch: Southwest Airlines Karen Melts Down Over MAGA Hat-Wearing Passenger

A woman being dubbed “Southwest Airlines Karen” had a meltdown during boarding of a Southwest Airlines flight. A passenger wearing a MAGA hat boarded the flight and she was triggered. The Man In The Donald Trump Hat began to film her, and she shouts “Somebody call security!” after demanding that he put his phone down.

I understand someone being unwilling to support Joe Biden. I understand someone choosing to vote for Donald Trump, calculating that he’s a less-bad option (though I worry more about long tail risks in a Trump presidency myself). I have a much more difficult time with being so enthusiastic about Donald Trump that you wrap your identity in his narrative, buy his swag, and proudly display it wherever you go.

Similarly, I understand shaking your head at someone that does this, and even sees that MAGA hat as symbolizing (in Hillary Clinton’s words) ‘the basket of deplorables’ though I think that attitude, rather than trying to understand its motivations, is part of what cost her the election (she came across as smug rather than relatable, dismissing the people who became even less persuadable as voters). Clearly much of Trump’s appeal is as a Golem; someone conjured to ‘defeat the libs’ and raise the relative status of those derided by coastal elites, rather than for his actual policies or judgment.

But yelling at someone expressing their support for Donald Trump? Getting so personally triggered that you lose it on an aircraft and wind up a meme? That’s what seems the most puzzling to me.

(HT: @SummerlinTaco)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I thought this website was a travel one. Not some TikTok type trash where you see one little clip and make up a whole article. The clip gives no context and we have no idea if she was complaining about the cap or some other attitude.

  2. Couldn’t help but think of Larry David’s MAGA hat in CYE. Made me chuckle. I neither like nor respect any of the top 3 in the polls. Still, part of me would like to wear a MAGA hat just for people like her.

  3. I’m old enough to remember 2020 when many blue checks (remember when it was exclusive to journo and celeb) claimed that wearing the red trump hat was justifying physical assault.

  4. @Kyle: thank you. Can’t we all be adults here and discuss important news in travel, not this trashy Housewives of such-and-such drivel?

    Remember, Gary, water seeks its own level.

  5. Perhaps this should be called the view from the LEFT Wing. Not so subtle way to pack a story with writer’s political leanings.

  6. Maga is now associated with a 34 time convicted felon this guy will not even be age to hold a gun or leave the country whilst under parole

  7. Yeah I HATE Trump, but I don’t mind his supporters wearing his gear. Every election season you see people supporting their candidate with various buttons, signs, hats and t-shirts. If you don’t like the guy, vote for the other guy and leave it at that. sheesh.

  8. Sorry Dilly Dally Dillon, but they can’t even say what law he broke! TRUMP 2024!

  9. I appreciate the red hats wearing the their swag on Southwest. Then I know where Not to sit. Not that I’m inclined to strike up a conversation with strangers on a plane, but I certainly wouldn’t talk politics with them.

  10. I think he got what he was looking for. Attention and someone on the left to freak out so he can spout the first amendment and be calm. Just baiting people.

  11. I couldn’t care less about anyone wearing a MAGA hat anywhen and anywhere. Still, I find this piece (and the accompanying video) quite deceiving as we don’t hear the woman actually say ” I find your hat disgusting” (it’s the caption below, by the guy who shot the video, which makes such claim). He could have very well said something rude or even threatened her. Give it some thought and try being a little more objective before posting on these echo chambers.

  12. I alternatively wear my NRA and Abortions Pills hats just to trigger people from both sides of the spectrum. Ain’t the 1st Amendment grand?

  13. It was a short clip and considering the behaviors of most MAGAts it is possible he was provoking her. Ffs they wear diapers in support of an incontinent r@p!st! I can understand being upset by someone so deep in a cult. Anyone willing to support a convicted felon and adjudicated r@p!St for POTUS should probably expect a bit of vitriol.

  14. Ha! Agree on all counts. Live and let live, and please be compassionate to all, even if it means the end of all. We’re all temporary visitors here on this Earth, and in this life.

  15. The guy with the hat should have sat down near her and got her so triggered that she was thrown off of the airplane.

  16. I think I just discovered a new way to keep the middle seat empty on Southwest airlines.

  17. Glad to know this site has a definite take on politics since I would much rather read about travel than some random internet writer’s political thoughts. If this seemed worthy to write about, you might need to take another look at your career path.

  18. There are many alleged politicians who encourage this type of anti-social behavior and actual physical assaults on the deplorables. This mouthy piece of hateful garbage needs to take a long hard look at her attitudes and figure out that it is actually her, who is the real problem. Lifetime travel ban outside of her own town, she brings nothing to the world.

  19. Gary – this video is a fake.

    Notice how it goes from a narrowbody Southwest plane to 2 guys standing in a *WIDEBODY* airplane…. (COUGH).

    seriously! its a fake 🙁 🙁

  20. Agree with several commentators. Those with political and economic power who know better yet enable this horrible man are the real criminals. He is a symptom of the anger in this country and they think they can use him to control it for themselves. Obviously they never read “Frankenstein” or know the history of 1933. But he has a right to run, and people have a right to support him. Keeping the discourse on a civilized level–or perhaps not having it at all since nobody seems to be changing their opinions–is the best way to do things.

  21. So what’s it with that bit at the end where they’re on a different aircraft? Are they trying to deceive people that this was an incident they were involved in? Seems kinda weird that this video just couldn’t speak for itself if it’s what was what happened in full context.

  22. Ummm…. this is a widebody plane. Southwest doesn’t fly wide-bodies. And we have no idea what the woman is reacting to. You’d think an airline journalist would spot this.

    What the hell happened to View From The Wing? It went from mildly-amusing click-bait to Trump commentary in one day. Short-term traffic gains, I suppose, but I’m a regular and I’m losing interest quickly.

  23. Nice to see Gary’s warming up for November!

    Maybe put up a poll on the website so users can pick their favorite (or less unfavorable) candidate!

  24. I agree with Kyle. A so called Karen on a commercial airplane blowing a fuse over someone else’s presidential choice, is kind of news. The problem here is that she can’t respect the other person’s views. Those of us that will talk to people with opposing views often find that people with different ideas are usually very good folks that typically align pretty well with our own desires. They sometimes just think another way is better to achieve those ends. The rank and file on both sides are not evil. So just be respectful and we can all get along fine.

  25. I’m pro Trump but I don’t wear his swag. Why subject myself to dealing with unhinged TDS infected leftist lunatics like the woman in the video.
    I live in the blue state of CA. If I put a Trump bumper sticker on my car I would expect it to be vandalized within hours. Sad but true. The Anerica I grew up in was not like this.

  26. This is a misuse of the term Karen.

    Karen are white women who misuse their privilege to falsely accuse people of color of crimes and call the police.

    This concerned citizen was justifiably uncomfortable with having a fascist on her flight and the risks such a fascist could have on the safety of the passengers, especially those vulnerable people whom the hat-wearer’s candidate demonizes and mistreats on an ongoing basis.

    Yes there are calmer ways to have that dangerous person with the hat removed, but not all of us have the life skills to use those ways instead of getting upset.

  27. “Maga is now associated with a 34 time convicted felon this guy will not even be age to hold a gun or leave the country whilst under parole”

    And Biden is going to lose the election to him. Talk about the real loser.

  28. @haloeinte I looked carefully and it seems you’re correct. If you look at the second portion it’s on a widebody with them standing in the center section of four seats. It’s clear given the four AC nozzles above. The first clip was clearly on WN.

    Not sure if this creates a fake aspect but it certainly seems a bit staged. At least to me. This is exactly the discourse that other countries try to create in the U.S, staging scenes like this to divide people more. It’s very suspicious.

  29. H/T to those figuring out the inauthenticity. I noticed the lady complain about filming, but not anyone’s attire. I dont think the blogger cares particularly as this agitated readers and generated interest. Long time readers know the ideology here is anti regulation, pro management (anti labor)

  30. Personally, I think the hidden agenda of this article was a microphone for the authors political bias

  31. It’s not gone unnoticed, that yes he was convicted of felonies, the same ones that if they charged every man who paid hush money (extortion?) to a sex partner, that the courts would be so clogged that all those so important crimes, rape, murder, and all the quality of life crimes that this Soros backed DA, doesn’t even prosecute anyway, wouldn’t be fought with the political vengeance Trumps crimes have been, but it’s ok for a crack addict to own a firearm, ( Hunters lawyer claims to today it’s legal) so what? Triggered by a hat in a metal tube at 35,000 feet is all thats important. Gary’s views are HIS own, like mine are my own the guy with the hat are his, the triggered woman, who made enough of a scene on a SOUTHWEST flight no less is the most dangerous person here

  32. As well Alphafox has plenty of other fake airline fights posted. All poorly staged.

    Either Gary is gullible and simple or he is desperate for attention in clicks.

  33. I have strong political values myself.
    And, flying on an airliner is most certainly NOT the place to tell you about them. Flying publicly is the time to simply be a quiet, polite person. Period.

  34. If someone wearing a hat triggers you so badly, perhaps you should not be flying at all and should be instead seeking mental health treatment from a licensed professional

  35. David DT has appealed the conviction and has not been sentenced. Most legal experts believe the ruling will be overturned. Sorry to burst your progressive bubble. lol

  36. Wow. 40 comments about a hat. Gary, you are the pro, but Ms. Clinton did not appear smug but rather appeared condescending, causing those she was dumping on to assume “deplorables” as an identity, since identity is such a big deal nowadays. What is hard to understand is her voicing her feelings in such a manner. Of course it was calculated, because nothing is spontaneous in these situations, but it certainly showed the weakness of the candidate and the staff.

  37. Hey, Biden and his troops are out to protect “democracy”. Which means, in their eyes, only one party and one candidate on the ballot. Kinda like Iran, huh? Soon, will anyone but a card carrying democrat even be allowed to travel freely?

  38. Antagonist appear on all sides of the aisle, but I’m pretty sure Gary didn’t post this out of any opinions of MAGA; the video is making the rounds on the interwebs and he also shared it.

    We aren’t allowed to have cordial conversations about the Clintons and all the crimes they committed (and got away with), the focus right now is for some to take out Trump – even though they are going on year 8 of it. Some of us are well aware that nothing sticks when it comes to politicians, regardless if they have a -D or -R behind their name. We sadly have to go along with it, because parties are only worried about power. I’d much rather vote for Trump over Biden – but right now, I may sit out this election for the first time in my life.

  39. Trump is offensive to the majority of Americans, and NO airline should not let passengers with inflammatory clothing or logos to board the plane.

    What’s truly pathetic here is that MAGA White Nationalist Neanderthal wearing that hat specifically to trigger others. That’s what they want.
    No different than how the Nazis and Adolf Hitler operated in the 1930s.

    Just look how the rabid, whiny MAGA dogs were literally foaming at the mouth with BDS outside of Trump’s criminal felony trial in NYC !

  40. @DaveW Hahaha I thought of that too! 10/10 bit. I’m surprised more people don’t employ that tactic regardless of their political views lol

  41. I’m always wary of a video without much context. Moreover, because the right has much more tendency to misrepresent something like this (think O’Keefe and project veritas) color me suspicious.

    It seems about as genuine as the tone Ivanka claimed to have been forced off a jet blue (economy) flight by left-wing hecklers.

    My overwhelming experience of MAGA is that they tend to be racist, belligerent, and loud. They’re simply uncouth, angry people, who want to take their own dissatisfaction out on anyone within reach.

    That said, Trump is a classic antisocial who stokes discord for his own attention and amusement.

    As much as I find the MAGA types unpleasant to be around, I feel sorry for them. Beyond nativism and fanning their fears of “other,” Trump and his retinue are not advancing any policies that would make their lives better.

    For all their devotion to him, his followers deserve better.

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