Outcry as passenger pens sexist note to female pilot on a napkin

A female pilot took to Facebook after receiving an anonymous note from a passenger telling her "the cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman."

Capt. Carey Smith Steacy (pictured below), who flies for Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet Airlines, received the shocking message after leading a flight from Calgary to Victoria on Sunday.

The note, written on a napkin, was left by "David" in seat 12E. It read:

"To Capt/WestJet: The cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honour, not as "captain." We're short [on] mothers, not pilots WestJet (sorry not PC).

PS I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I could book another flight! In the end this is all mere vanity.

Not impressed.

Respectfully in love,


Capt. Steacy, who has 17 years' experience as a pilot, and is also a mother, posted this response on her Facebook wall alongside the original note:

"To @David in 12E on my flight #463 from Calgary to Victoria today. It was my pleasure flying you safely to your destination. Thank you for the note you discreetly left me on your seat. You made sure to ask the flight attendants before we left if I had enough hours to be the Captain so safety is important to you, too.

"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. It was a joke, right? RIGHT?? I thought, not. You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a ‘fair lady’.

"You have that right. Funny, 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."

The pilot said the crew handed her the note after cleaning the plane post-flight. Flight attendants reported that the same man asked them whether Capt. Steacy had enough hours to be a pilot, because safety was important to him.

A Westjet spokesman told "We are enormously proud of the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots and we were disappointed to see this note." Capt. Steacy said she was shocked by such a reaction.

It's not the first time sexist plane passengers have hit the headlines. Last year, a female pilot had a passenger removed from a Trip Airlines flight in Brazil after he ranted before the plane took off, "Someone should have told me the captain was a woman. I'm not flying with a female at the controls."

Photos: Carey Smith Steacy/Facebook and Rex Features

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