A Delta Airlines passenger claims one of the pilots on his plane hit on him on gay hook-up app Grindr.
JP Thorn initially posted a screenshot of the message on Instagram on August 30.
The message, sent by someone “90 feet away” from him, read: “I see you’re on my flight. Enjoy the ride to Chicago.”
He then reposted the image on Twitter on November 25, writing in the tweet: “Remember when my pilot messaged me on grindr at 30,000 feet in the air.”
The post went viral, accruing nearly 220,000 likes and 31,000 retweets.
Thorn told The New York Post the incident took place in August. He was traveling from Saint Paul to Chicago, where he was due to take a connecting flight to Nashville.
He saw the message when he turned on his mobile phone upon landing.
“My reaction was I knew I needed to get off this plane as fast as I can,” Thorn, a communications student at Hamline University, told The Post.
“I’ve had some weird experiences with proximity stuff on Grindr,” he added.
“I literally ran off that flight.”
— JP Thorn
Thorn told the Post the message was sent 30 minutes prior to the plane’s landing. However, the timestamp visible on the screenshot he shared on Twitter shows the message was received at 5:23 am.
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The screenshot was taken at 7am and the flight time between Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport takes about one hour and 35 minutes—meaning the message was likely sent just before take off.
PinkNews has contacted Delta Airlines for comment.
Thorn deduced the person sending the message was the pilot, as his profile picture on Grindr appears to show the view from the cockpit.
“I messaged him back and he told me that he was one of the pilots,” Thorn told the Post, describing the sender as a “nice guy.”
“He asked me about our flight, how it was on the way, and [the conversation] was really standard,” the passenger continued, adding: “I said there was no turbulence, then he made a joke about turbulence.”
To one of the many people on Twitter who asked him if the pilot “was cute,” Thorn answered: “I’ll never know I literally ran off that flight.”
Thorn told the Post he would have met up with the man if he did not have to catch a connecting flight—but he has since deleted the app and is no longer in touch with the aviator.
The pilot, whose identity is not known, may have risked his job if he attempted to take things further with the passenger.
Last month, a Delta Airlines flight attendant who had sex with a gay porn star on one of the company’s planes was suspended after the video was posted online.