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Female easyJet pilot reveals sexist encounter on flight with two male passengers

‘I’m saddened by the fact that this is the attitude some still have’

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 24 May 2018 10:17 BST
Female easyJet pilot reveals sexist encounter on flight with two male passengers

A female easyJet pilot has gone viral after calling out two male passengers who made sexist comments as they boarded her plane.

Charlotte Knowlson is an airline pilot who started flying for easyJet in February.

A few days ago, Ms Knowlson was carrying out a smooth, routine flight when her experience was marred by a couple of passengers who felt the need to call her expertise as a pilot into question.

She explained on Twitter that the two men had said: “I won’t make any jokes about female drivers then,” with one even stating that had he known Ms Knowlson was piloting the plane, then he wouldn’t have boarded.

Ms Knowlson couldn’t believe the audacity of the men’s behaviour, stating: “Fact is, I can fly an £80m jet, you can’t.”

The pilot has received a wave of support since posting the original tweet, which has been liked almost 95,000 times and retweeted more than 11,000 times.

She continued in further tweets, explaining that at first she had brushed the comments off.

“Being used to this kind of humour, my reaction of course was to be professional, laugh and ask them if they were enjoying the flight,” she said.

It was only when a fellow cabin crew member expressed their dismay over the men’s sexist behaviour that she asked herself: “Why is this normal?”

“It is this attitude that puts women off and another barrier stopping them from going into male dominated careers,” she stated.

“I’m saddened by the fact that this is the attitude some still have and think it is ok to make these comments to women.”

Many people have praised Ms Knowlson as an inspiration for budding female pilots, with one person commenting: “You don’t just make jets fly, you make dreams airborne too.”

Another person wrote: “Thank you for being a role model for the next generation and calling out sexism for what it is - wrong!”

Others have been sharing photos of their daughters in response to the Twitter thread, all of whom aspire to follow in her footsteps one day.

“My career is my dream, always has been,” Ms Knowlson wrote.

“I always wanted to be able to inspire more women [to be pilots], especially the younger generations, so that we can change people’s perceptions on what is still a man’s world.”

EasyJet has stated as part of its corporate responsibility that it recognises that the number of female pilots within the company is currently too low, with only five per cent of more than 2,600 pilots employed by easyJet women.

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