Southwest Passenger Receives Explicit Images Before Flight Via AirDrop, Crew Responds By Calling Out Sender

A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight is applauding the actions taken by flight attendants after she received several inappropriate photos and a video from a fellow passenger via AirDrop.

The incident occurred on Friday morning as Southwest Flight 1388 was set to take off from Chicago to Louisville. Shortly after boarding the plane and taking her seat, Kat Pitman received an AirDrop message from someone she didn't know.

"It was just very explicit. It just shocked me,'' Pitman told USA Today. According to the newspaper, the sender's username was a NSFW version of The Hobbit's Bilbo Baggins.

In response to the message, Pitman said she immediately turned off AirDrop - a feature on Apple device that allows users to share files via Bluetooth or WiFi - but then turned it back on in order to take a screenshot of the graphic photo.

Int he time it took Pitman to screencap the message, she received two additional ones, another graphic photo and a video.

That was when Pitman got up from her seat to inform the flight attendants what was happening.

"There was no question. They weren't like, 'What's AirDrop?' They just took care of it,'' Pitman told USA Today, adding that one of the flight attendants immediately picked up the phone and broadcast a message for "Mr. Baggins" to stop sending the files.

"They continued to check on me during the flight and as I left the flight. I just was incredibly impressed," Pitman said.

Southwest spokesman Chriz Mainz confirmed that the incident occurred on Friday, saying that the company does not condone that sort of behavior and that flight crews are trained on how to deal with such situations.

"The safety and comfort of all of our customers is our highest concern, and we don't condone such inappropriate behavior. Our crews are equipped to respond quickly and appropriately to address these concerns expressed by our customers, which is exactly what they did in this case," Mainz told USA TODAY.

The name of the passenger who sent the messages has not been released.

Pitman said she is a frequent flier, and though she's read stories about these sorts of things happening in public but was surprised that it happened on a plane. She also said she generally has AirDrop turned off and only activated it to recieve messages from her contact list, but that she had disabled the setting for a client to send her a business card and forgotten to turn it back on.

For those who want to check their AirDrop settings, you can access the feature by going to the settings of your device. From there, select General, followed by AirDrop, where the selected options will be available. Users can choose between Receiving Off, Contacts Only and Everyone.

Correction (6/16, 8:40 p.m.): This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Kat Pitman's last name.

Southwest Airlines
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 plane prepares to land at Oakland International Airport on April 25, 2019 in San Leandro, California. Southwest Airlines reported a loss of $200 million in their first quarter earnings after having to cancel over 10,000 flights in the quarter due to the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes. Southwest has 34 MAX jets in its fleet. Getty/Justin Sullivan