Westjet & others celebrate April Fools’ Day

In the spirit of the April Fools’ Day holiday, yesterday Virgin America shared its “new” logo.

Today, WestJet and others join the fun with RALFH – a replacement for airplane food carts:

Cheapflights brings up Hipster Air , an airline “for those who badly want to be in the know – but who don’t want others to know it. It guarantees that no airline will try so hard to not look like it is trying so hard.”

Hipster air

And Seattle’s Museum of Flight once again rolls out a unique April Fools exhibit. This year – it’s the Sopwith Camel airplane flown by World War I flying ace, Snoopy.

Museum of Flight snoopy

“The famous aircraft has never been seen in public, and until recently, historians have believed it among the thousands of fighter aircraft lost forever in combat over France nearly one hundred years ago,” the museum said in a statement that refers to the aircraft as “one of the greatest finds of the century.”

More fun to follow…

Travel tidbits for April 1

So much “news” today – April 1 …

WetJet has introduced Smart Seats – which let you take a seat in the airport and board the plane in that same seat..

Richard Branson announced that the Virgin Group’s U.S. operations will be moving to Branson, Missouri

There’s a report out of Florida that the Transportation Security Administration is testing a new program to help seniors make their way through airport security. The program is dubbed “Moses.”

Unlike PreCheck, TSA-MOSES requires no pre-registration. Travelers 65 or older should look for a large wooden cane with a curved handle near checkpoints, signifying a MOSES representative is available to guide them through security.

And – finally – Denver International Airport has revealed all the details about the long whispered-about bunker underneath the airport grounds.


More April 1 news to come…

Note left on plane suggests cockpit is “no place for a woman.”

westjet note

With International Women’s Day (March 8) around the corner comes a reminder – written on an airplane cocktail napkin – that the struggle for women’s equality continues.

“The cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman,” began a note scrawled on a napkin and left behind by a passenger on a recent WestJet flight from Calgary to Victoria, B.C.

“Were (sic) short mothers, not pilots” continued the note, in which a passenger who signed his named as David also referenced a bible verse and said he wished the airline would tell him when “a fair lady is at the helm” so he can be sure to “book another flight.”

The plane’s pilot, Carey Steacy, shared the note on her Facebook page with a response that said in part, “…I have heard many comments from people throughout my 17 year career as a pilot. Most of them positive….. You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a “fair lady.” You have that right…”

Steacy’s Facebook post has since been removed, but many news outlets and individuals have re-posted the note.

“My first reaction was shock, Steacy told CTV Vancouver, “I have to think that that’s very much not a common feeling among the general public.”

Canadian carrier WestJet currently has 1,111 male pilots and 58 female pilots. Its subsidiary regional airline, WestJet Encore, has 87 male and 10 female pilots.

“We are enormously proud of the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots, and we find this note very disappointing,” the airline said in a statement.

Women in the aviation industry have rallied behind Steacy and commended her for responding to the sexist note with dignity and class.

“Some might say the crude note did not deserve a response, but it is important to do so,” said Barbara Williams, Interim Executive Director at the International Women’s Air and Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. If only “to remind us all that women continue to achieve and play an important part in the aviation world’s history.”

“Most women pilots would just say that the airplane does not know whether or not the pilot is a woman, so it does not behave any differently,” said Martha Phillips, president of The Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots.