VANCOUVER — A female WestJet pilot says she was shocked by a passenger’s note on a napkin that suggested women don’t belong at the controls of an airplane.
Crew cleaning the aircraft after a weekend flight from Calgary to Victoria found the note that said a cockpit is “no place for a woman.”
The note, signed “David,” also said that a woman “being a mother is the most honour.”
He also said he wished that WestJet would tell him when a female pilot was in charge, so he could book another flight.
Pilot Carey Steacy, who has been flying with WestJet for nine years, says she can’t believe people still think that way.
The mother of two took to Facebook to rebut the passenger’s comments.
“In fact, there are no places that are not for ladies anymore,” she wrote.
“I felt like I needed to respond to his opinion,” Steacy later said. “He absolutely has his right to his opinion and I have a right to disagree with it.”
She said the female flight attendants on the flight and her male co-pilot all had the same reaction.
Steacy said she has received widespread support since posting the note and her rebuttal on Facebook.
She acknowledges that far fewer women than men choose to pursue a flying career.
“Almost every day, people I find are a little bit surprised. I think it’s just because women aren’t enrolling in flight schools — not because they’re not being hired, but because they’re not enrolling in it,” Steacy said.
“Either it’s because they don’t think they can, or they have been told that it’s not for women, or that they can’t do it. And I just hope that that mindset can change like it has in a lot of professions.”