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WestJet passenger leaves sexist note on plane for female pilot

- March 5th, 2014
(Carey Smith Stacey Facebook)

(Carey Smith Stacey Facebook)

When I wrote a blog last year on a U.K. survey that revealed travellers “don’t trust” female pilots because they see them as more prone to stress and less skilled, I wondered who on Earth would still think in such a stereotypical way. Now we can identify at least one such person: David from seat 12E.

Female WestJet pilot Carey Smith Steacy captained a flight from Calgary to Victoria on Sunday. After landing with no issue and seeing all passengers off the plane, the crew discovered a note left behind on a napkin that stated “the cockpit of an airline is no place for a woman.”

Signing the note “David,” the passenger stated that “a woman being a mother is the most honor, not as ‘captain.’ Sorry not PC (politically correct).” He went on to list a Bible verse and say “I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I can book another flight.”

Smith Steacy said David also asked flight attendants if she had enough flying hours under her belt before they even took off.

Smith Steacy, meanwhile, posted the napkin note to Facebook along with a reply that, for someone who is being discriminated against because she lacks testicles, is pretty balls to the wall.

“To David. Thank you for the note, you discreetly left me on your seat,” she wrote. ”I respectfully disagree with your opinion that the ‘cockpit,’ (we now call it the flight deck as no cocks are required), is no place for a lady. In fact, there are no places that are not for ladies anymore. I have heard many comments from people throughout my 17 year career as a pilot. Most of them positive. Your note is, without a doubt, the funniest… You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a ‘fair lady’… We all, us humans, have the same rights in this great free country of ours. Now, back to my most important role, being a mother.”

WestJet is rightfully standing behind Smith Steacy, telling QMI Agency “We are enormously proud of the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots and we are disappointed by this note.”

Of the airline’s 1,176 pilots, 58 are female. The Women of Aviation Worldwide publication says 5.15% of for-hire pilots globally are female.


Spirit Airlines urges travellers to “go down on us” to the Caribbean

- January 23rd, 2014
(Spirit Airlines website)

(Spirit Airlines website)

Using shock value to publicize airfare deals is becoming a hallmark of advertizing at U.S. budget airline Spirit Airlines.

The airline is following up their Rob Ford crack-smoking flight deal with a new offer for travellers to “go down on us” to the Caribbean.

The animated ad launches after clicking into the Spirit website, not-so-subtly declaring that the airline is shaving its prices before a razor sweeps across a photo of a woman’s pelvis, removing hair to reveal the good deals on airfare to be had.

“We’re shaving our fares so you’ll go down on us… to the Caribbean,” the ad says.

Spirit’s fares to the Caribbean are one-way and start at $30.

(Spirit Airlines website)

(Spirit Airlines website)

In November, Spirit Airlines made headlines with an ad that depicted a portly man smoking, believed to be poking fun at the crack scandal surrounding Toronto mayor Rob Ford.  “We’re not smoking crack,” read the ad. “Our fares REALLY are this low!”

In July, the airline took on the scandal surrounding U.S. politician Anthony Weiner with an ad titled “The Weiner Rises Again.” It featured a hot dog version of Weiner’s alter ego, Carlos Danger, holding an iPhone declaring it’s “fares too HARD to resist.”

What do you think? Has Spirit gone too far with this ad? Take our poll below.

Hotel that inspired “The Shining” to dig up pet cemetery

- October 2nd, 2013
(Courtesy Stanley Hotel)

(Courtesy Stanley Hotel)

In hotel news very appropriate for the Halloween season, The Stanley Hotel in Colorado — the property that inspired author Stephen King to write The Shining after he spent one spooky night there in the 1970s — has announced plans to dig up its pet cemetery in favour of building a pavilion that can host weddings and corporate events.

The historic hotel opened in 1909, while grave markers in the pet cemetery indicate pets have been buried on the plot of land since the 1960s.  The hotel plans to move the pet graves to another spot as it clears space for its new pavilion.

Gallery: World’s most famed haunted hotels

The plan has drawn the ire of supernatural enthusiasts who warn of bad things should the pet bones be moved.  Local psychic Rosemary McArthur told the Coloradoan that “stirring up the bones of the dead” could lead to paranormal unrest in an area already famed for its hauntings. Meanwhile, horror enthusiasts who have always wanted to wed at the hotel where Jack Torrance slowly went crazy may soon be able to make that dream a reality.

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

It should be noted that King did not draw inspiration for his novel Pet Sematary from the pet cemetery at the Stanley Hotel, but from a cemetery in Maine.

And if staying at this haunted hotel isn’t scary enough for you, guests of the Stanley Hotel can watch Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation of The Shining on a continuous loop in-room on channel 42.

Cardboard church opens to the public in New Zealand

- August 21st, 2013
Transitional “Cardboard” Cathedral

Transitional “Cardboard” Cathedral

After two years of planning and building, this Transitional Cathedral is now open to the public in Christchurch, New Zealand. What’s so cool about this cathedral? It’s made out of cardboard!

This building was designed by a Japanese architect and was created using 98 cardboard tubes that are each 20 metres long and weigh 265 lbs. The church seats up to 700 people and was built to last up to 50 years.

Gallery: 25 buildings to see in your life

“It’s a fascinating building not only from an architectural and engineering point of view, but also because of the story it tells. It is a building which says much about Christchurch’s resilience and creativity,” Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said in a statement.

In addition to church services, the cathedral can also host special events and concerts.

Christchurch's Transitional Cathedral

Christchurch’s Transitional Cathedral

Christchurch's Transitional Cathedral

Christchurch’s Transitional Cathedral

Airline plans to hire only skinny, female flight attendants to save on fuel

- July 4th, 2013


If you thought airlines charging passengers by weight was outlandish, you’ll want to put your seat and tray in an upright position and buckle in for this: an airline in India has announced plans to hire only thin, female flight attendants in a bid to save money on fuel.

The Times of India reports that going forward, India’s GoAir airline will only hire flight attendants who are thin and female to save on fuel costs. The airline will continue to employ its 130 existing male flight attendants, but estimates that hiring skinny female attendants who weigh 33 to 44 pounds less than their male counterparts will save them up to $500,000 each year.

“The rupee’s fall has hurt the industry badly. All major expenses — aircraft leasing, spare parts and fuel costs — are linked to the dollar. The fall in exchange rate of a rupee costs us Rs 30 crore ($7 million) on an annual basis. We are looking at every possible way of cost-cutting to remain profitable,” GoAir CEO Giorgio De Roni told the Times of India.

He told the publication that what some see as a size- and gender-biased policy is really just about weight on board. The airline estimates that each kilo carried by the aircraft costs 5 cents per hour in fuel.

“We are reducing the weight on board our aircraft,” he said. “The size of inflight magazines has been reduced. The potable water tanks are no longer being filled to capacity as only 35% to 40% of that water is actually used. Now the water tanks are filled 60%.”

There is no word if the airline will also seek to hire thin pilots.