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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.

 

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25 comments

  1. ivan | March 5, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I am amazed that we in the 21 century still have the attitude of “David”. We have our freedom of free speech but to leave a note behind on your seat , well that is shameful . My grandfather had a saying ” BEST TO BE SILENT AND BE TAUGHT A FOOL THAN OPENS ONES MOUTH AND REMOVE ALL DOUGHT”

  2. DEL | March 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Maybe David should get a one way ticket back to the past. I don’t think gender has anything to do with flying a plane !! Get a grip David.

  3. John | March 5, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Seems like the guy didn’t bother to read the Proverb otherwise he would know that it describes the pilot pretty accurately. And while he’s in the Proverbs just to add to Ivan’s point “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17: 28

  4. john the real | March 5, 2014 at 11:10 am

    who cares who the pilot is that’s not the point as long as thay are good at the job that’s fine with me . this guy must be living in a country were women are treated like crap . not allowed in USA and Canada .

  5. Mario | March 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Unfortunate to be of the same gender as “David”. Amazingly enough I was raised by the women in my family because of a father who was too much of a coward to take his own responsibilities. Because of their sensible approach and calm demeanor I grew-up to put my mind in gear before letting situations/emotions get the best of me. I then pursued a career in a stressful male dominated environment and I can honestly say that the women I worked with or worked for or worked for me, were a blessing in many of the situations. Both sexes were efficient.

  6. GTA | March 5, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Male or Female, who cares as long as she/he is competent and qualified. However, we don’t all have the same rights in this great Country, thanks to the so-called Human Rights Commissions and their censorship tactics. Nor do we have the same rights thanks to the Government mandated “hiring by race or gender” as opposed to merit.

  7. John | March 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Captain Carey Smith Steacy
    Please accept my apology on behalf of this person who clearly shouldn’t be quoting the bible. Proverbs 31 starting at verse 10 to the end describes you to a tee.
    Verse 10-12
    Capable, precious, trusting and caring
    13-15
    Works, provides and cares for her household
    16-18
    Takes charge of her earnings, energetic, strong, hard worker, wise and profitable
    19-22
    Always busy, helpful, open, provider and dresses with pride (Your Captain’s Uniform)
    23-25
    Enabling, business minded and a visionary
    26-28
    Speaks wisely with kindness, a guardian and admired
    29
    God’s verse to you
    30-31
    God’s plan for you

    Captain Carey stand tall because you are Proverbs 31!!!

  8. sheldon | March 5, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Please note while David’s comments are the stuff of crude back water upbringing, Steacy comments are crude and unprofessional as well. The “cockpit” has nothing to do with genitalia as she remarked but rather a carry over fro m sailing ( coxswain station) and early aviation. Educate yourself before commenting

  9. Ciaran | March 5, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Here’s an idea. communicate David’s name to all airlines and travel agencies. When he books a flights, ensure he is booked on flights piloted by women only. Pilot and co-pilot….with all other crew being males.
    That’ll rattle him and may send him home to be with his mother, who does best.

  10. JeyRome | March 5, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Meh, it was a guys opinion & he’s absolutely entitled to it so big deal.

    Smith Steacy’s response on Facebook that she is ‘discriminated against’ is of course not accurate. She still holds the job & was, I hope, hired based on her qualifications so good for her but no discrimination took place-only opinion.

    The only thing that generally offends me is her comment:
    ‘…In fact, there are no places that are not for ladies anymore…’
    Not to be misunderstood-take on any role you want, however:
    • it’s a shame if it’s at the expense of your small children if it means having them in daycare
    • it infringes on traditional groups like boy scouts-basically a club for boys that must now allow females. Girls have girl guides so if the program needs to be revamped for the 21st century, then go at it, but leave the guys their groups.

  11. walt | March 5, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I’ve travelled West Jet a couple of times when Captain Smith was the pilot and what I found interesting was how feather smooth the landing was.Perhaps some male pilots could learn from her.

  12. Marc | March 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

    This is a sad comment in this day and age.

    The airline industry is still, in some respects a big boys club. Try to get hired as a female pilot with Cathay Pacific for example. The statistic implies that 5.15% of pilots are female supports that. We do see more women joining aviation today, however, the percentage is still quite low.

    Having flown for over 25 years, I must admit that the best aircraft captain I have had the pleasure to fly with was female. She was a very good pilot and very considerate of all crew positions.

  13. Tom L | March 5, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    As we celebrate Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week and 100 years of women acrobatic pilots, it is obvious that there is still a need to teach some segments of the population that women can be very skilled and competent pilots.

  14. Ger | March 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Wow, really? in 2014 someone posts a message like this quoting the bible? Don’t ever quote the bible for your idiocy! This is the equivilent of being a muslim and dealing with people in Al-Qaida. I love her message back. what do you say to that you ignorant moron? Hope you get on the no-fly list for this stupid action.

  15. me2 | March 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Hey Jeyrome: Its the 21st century, why can’t the husband stay home and take care of the children? Then they won’t be left in daycare. Grow up. It’s sad in this day and age to think that only women should sacrifice their career for children. Why can’t she do both? I say good on her.

  16. Maria | March 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I don’t believe her one bit . She did it to get attention . That note was very poorly written .We had a female co-worker who used to send flowers to her self every Valentines day . Yes , that’s how much Narcissistic and unsecure women are . Sad world !

  17. Brian | March 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

  18. wayne | March 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I laugh at the number of people who believe racism, sexism, bigotry etc has been eliminated. person left a dumb note. Its funny she valued this person opinion enough to respond. You think your going to change peoples opinion this way. Never has never will.

  19. Johnny | March 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I had a very young female captain on a shuttle boat at Disney World to our resort from Epcot. She did her job just fine and made some very tricky twists and turns when docking. I was impressed but whats more is when walking by her she smiled and I noticed she was wearing braces, that’s when I realized she was very young. She was a teenage female captain and did her job perfectly. Very impressive.

  20. mark beliveau | March 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    He must be from Kansas where I live, we are working very hard here to go back to the 1950′s even if it means flushing our economy down the toilet

  21. Dave | March 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    He was only saying what most men, myself included, really think but rarely admit in public. I don’t believe any of this faux-outrage, especially from other men.

  22. Robert Jacobowitz | March 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    My wife of previous marriage was a pilot and so was my sister ( class 1 instrument rated)
    Female pilots can fly just as well as their male counterpart. I will not hesitate to fly as a passenger with an all female flight crew.

  23. Tc | March 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    When did this guy last fly? On a flight with Amelia Earheart?

  24. Corp | March 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

    If the pilot can do their job who cares about their gender, race, or creed. It’s one’s abilities that matter, not their reproductive organs. Thankfully people like Dave (and Jeryrome, Maria, Dave here) are a dying bred that basic education is phasing out. The sooner such meaningless views disappear the better off society as a whole will be.

  25. Mike | March 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Dinosaurs are not extinct!!! Amazing to see how many of the old and new dinosaurs are showing up for this!!! The old dinosaurs are the males who won’t accept the females as equal and the new dinosaurs are the females who are male bashers.

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