Comedian Rob Schneider Says His Family Will No Longer Fly United Because They Are Sacrificing Safety for Diversity

By: Georgia | Published: Jan 30, 2024

Rob Schneider, a comedian, publicly announced his decision to stop flying with United Airlines due to concerns over the airline’s prioritization of diversity over safety.

In a message posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to United’s CEO Scott Kirby, he stated, “I regret to inform you that I will no longer allow my family to fly on your airline.”

The 2022 Flight Incident Referenced

In his post, Schneider referenced a specific incident involving United Airlines. He brought attention to a near-fatal accident during a flight in late 2022, implying it could have been prevented with different priorities in hiring.

A United Airlines airplane, mid-flight against a clear blue sky. The aircraft is captured from the side, with its landing gear extended and ready for landing

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Schneider said, “As evidenced by the near aviation catastrophe of UA Boeing 777 flight 1722 from Maui to San Francisco Dec 18th 2023.”

Allegations of CEO's Extracurricular Activities

Fox News reports that Schneider also commented on allegations regarding CEO Kirby’s personal activities.

A close up image of Scott Kirby against a plain blue background

Source: Getty Images

Following videos shared by prominent conservatives, he addressed Kirby as a “Drag Queen practitioner,” referring to purported drag show performances.

Schneider's Criticism of Hiring Priorities

In his post, Schneider emphasized his perception of United’s flawed priorities, stating, “You have clearly placed ‘diversity’ of pilot hiring above safety of passengers and crew.”

Rob Schneider stands at a podium on a stage, giving a speech. He is wearing a dark suit, red tie, and a brown fedora hat. He is holding some papers and a microphone is positioned in front of him. The background is illuminated with vibrant red and blue stage lights

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This quote underlines his primary grievance with United Airlines, where he sees a misalignment between the airline’s diversity initiatives and its commitment to passenger safety.

Describing the Near-Miss Incident

Detailing the 2022 incident, Schneider vividly described the situation, per information from Fox News.

An overhead view of a United Airlines aircraft flying high above the ground, captured from above. The airplane's wings and body are prominently displayed against a backdrop of a textured landscape with varying shades of brown and green

Source: United/X

He wrote, “Where your diverse but incompetent flight crew didn’t know which flaps were causing its near disastrous dissent, coming within 750 feet of killing every one aboard your United Airline.”

United Airlines' Response to the Incident

In response to the incident and subsequent criticism, a United Airlines spokesperson stated that the pilots involved required “additional training.”

Two men are seated at a congressional hearing. The man in the foreground is wearing a blue suit and tie, speaking and gesturing with his hands. The man in the background, also in a blue suit

Source: Getty Images

This response was reported by FOX Business, indicating that the airline acknowledged the need for improved training following the near-miss event.


Schneider Claims Support from United Employees

According to Fox News, Schneider claimed to have received support from United Airlines employees for his stance.

A large group of United Airlines employees gathered for a group photo on the tarmac in front of a United airplane. They are standing on a red carpet, with many individuals waving and smiling towards the camera

Source: United/X

He stated, “I cannot tell you how many @UnitedAirlines employees have personally thanked me for my valid criticism of your careless and life-threatening leadership.”


Schneider's Predictions for Kirby's Future

Concluding his critique, Schneider made a bold prediction about Kirby’s professional future, Fox News reports.

Rob Schneider in a dark blazer and a patterned blue shirt raises his index finger, making a point during an interview

Source: Getty Images

He wrote, “After your inevitable firing you can get back to your true passion, your Drag Queen performance.”


Kirby's Commitment to Diversity

Fox News reports that United Airlines’ CEO made a commitment to diversity in pilot hiring.

Scott Kirby in a dark suit and striped tie is seated, gesturing with his hand while speaking at an event. Behind him, the words 'AIRBUS' and 'Chamber of Commerce' are projected in blue

Source: Getty Images

Kirby shared in a 2021 Axios interview, “One of the things we do is, for every job, when we do an interview, we require women and people of color to be involved in the interview process.”


Elon Musk's Critique of Kirby

Alongside Schneider, another high-profile figure voicing criticism against Kirby is Elon Musk. NBC News revealed that Musk expressed his disapproval by mocking Kirby in a post on X, suggesting he reminds him of a pink video game character.

Elon Musk wearing a suit and white shirt. He is looking off to the side against a dark background

Source: Getty Images

Kirby also shared a commitment to ensuring 50% of United Aviate Academy graduating pilot classes will be women or people of color. Despite this target, as of 2023, the actual percentage stands at just 19%, as per Fox News.


Musk's Controversial Remarks on Diversity Hiring

This is not the only instance of Musk expressing his opinion on DEI policies in the aviation industry. NBC News reports that Musk has been vocal on X. He previously responded to a post critical of Boeing’s diversity efforts.

A screenshot of a tweet from Elon Musk's verified Twitter account, posted at 10:30 PM on January 9, 2024, which has received 493.8K views. The tweet reads "The CEO is Kirby" and includes a link to the Wikipedia page for Kirby (character)

Source: elonmusk/X

He questioned the safety implications of prioritizing DEI in hiring, asking, “Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety? That is actually happening.”


Schneider's Comments in Stand-Up Special

In a Fox Nation stand-up special from June 2023, Schneider criticized United’s diversity focus, as per information from Fox News.

Rob Schneider with a microphone in hand, actively speaking at an event. He is wearing glasses, a blue beanie, and a denim jacket over a blue shirt. In the background, the stage is equipped with technical equipment and has red lights

Source: Getty Images

He said, “What? Diversity? Not the best pilots you could find?” and added, “I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of flying all the time with these White pilots landing safely and on time. Boring!”