A routine flight from Calgary to Victoria was marred by a passenger who apparently didn’t appreciate having his flight captained by a woman.
A passenger, who identified himself as “David” left behind a sexist note questioning the credentials of Carey Steacy, a pilot with more than 17 years of experience.
In it, he said “a cockpit is no place for a woman” and that WestJet should inform him if a woman is flying the plane so he can book a different flight.
“All of us had our mouths open in shock, we didn’t know what to say,” Steacy said, referring to her and her crew’s response.
Steacy said in all her years working as a pilot, she has rarely seen notes left behind for cabin crew.
“I’ve heard the odd comment in jest usually, that’s the only time I’ve seen something as raw as that,” Steacy said.
The note-writer questioned Steacy’s ability as soon as she took to the PA system to address passengers during take-off.
He reportedly kept asking flight attendants if she had enough flight hours to be flying a plane.
Steacy took to Facebook to post the note, and respond to the comment.
“In fact, there are no places that are not for ladies anymore,” she wrote, adding that the cockpit is now referred to as the flight deck.
The post quickly earned hundreds of re-posts and praise for her reaction.
WestJet also came out supporting Steacy, calling the note “disappointing.”
For her part, Steacy hopes more women enroll in flight school and help fight against sexist attitudes.
“They’ve been told it’s not for men or they can’t do it, and I hope that that mindset can change,” she said.