My sister Carol Calicchio, an artist based out of Delray Beach, Florida, just sent me an informative, inspirational and funny video of her JetBlue pilot. It’s too good not to share, which she gave me permission to do. RELATED: 12 Things in Travel You Need to Know Today
Carol is currently flying from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to West Palm Beach on B6 761, which is going to be close to three hours late (screenshot below). If you’re in the New York area, then you know there’s terrible weather and if you’ve ever flown out of one of the city’s three major airports in bad weather, then you also know you’re always in for a lengthy tarmac delay, just like my sister experienced.
What was special about this captain are a few things. One: She’s a female pilot, which you still don’t see often these days. Two: She came out of the cockpit and used the flight attendant’s PA system to address passengers. Three: She gave a great and honest explanation as to why the flight was so delayed. Four: She told them a personal story about how, when she was a child, there were no such thing as female pilots. And finally, she was funny and said she’s going to put the pedal to the metal to try and make up time like she’s driving a rental car. Hilarious!
Carol texted me the video (short one embedded above and long version embedded below) and said she started recording when the pilot started off by saying, “I will be your pilot taking you down to West Palm tonight.” Carol said you could hear a pin drop and that the pilot laughed and said, “I thought that would get your attention!” Carol said the beginning of her announcement was even funnier.
Here’s the partial and edited transcript:
“Teterboro, Kennedy and LaGuardia is very crowded. So all we’re going to be doing is being very safe today. So I would just say, hopefully everybody packed their patience. We got the two of us up here in the cockpit and between the two of us, we have over 50 years of flying time. We want to make this experience as wonderful as possible for you, so relax.
“I’m going to try to keep you updated as much as possible and we’re going to tiptoe our way out of the turbulence here in LaGuardia and head down to West Palm. Beautiful day in West Palm but a little bit of clouds and stuff down there too but we’ve got a flying time of two hours and 32 minutes so sit back relax you guys.
“I’ve got time for a little story. Okay, I’m gonna bore you with this but in 1970 I’m sitting in first grade and Sister Sally said, “Suzanne, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I said, “I want to be an airline pilot.” The sister says, “You can’t be an airline pilot.” But they wouldn’t tell me why. So every year, I tell each nun I wanted to be an airline pilot when I grow up. You guys, you couldn’t be a woman airline pilot in the 70s. They didn’t tell me that. They just said I couldn’t do it.
“Anyways, a few years ago, my son is sitting in first grade and the teacher said, “Johnny, what do you want to be when you grow up? The teacher knows his mom’s a pilot for JetBlue and his dad’s a firefighter. So what do you think my son says? He says, “I want to be a firefighter,” and the teacher goes “you don’t want to be an airline pilot?” He says, “An airline pilot? Are you kidding? That’s a girl’s job!”
A round of applause and laughter breaks out.
Anyways, I love this airplane. Aside from the 727, it’s my favorite, Airbus A320. It’s all fly by wire over 300 computers can help me navigate and communicate on our way down to West Palm today. We’re taking off when we 13-31 here in LaGuardia. Oh, we only weigh about 165,000 pounds. Isn’t that awesome? Gonna leave the concrete after getting about 150 miles an hour. Get the gear and flaps up. I’m picking it up 200 now 10,000 feet. The FAA says I can go as fast as I want so I’ll let you know only my parents and uh okay a couple Arizona State Troopers know about I was born with a lead foot. So what do you guys think once we get going we’re gonna put the pedal to the metal drive this baby like a rental car. Okay, I’m getting carried away. Anyway, two hours and 32 minutes but I think I can do it in an hour flat today.”
Another round of applause and laughter.
Finally she says, “thanks for your patience here in LaGuardia so sit back relax. We love you here at JetBlue. Welcome aboard folks.” Then she hung the PA up and received another round of applause.
I wish all pilots were like Suzanne. How about you?
Have you flown with a female pilot? I have many times but usually, they have been the first officer, including on my Alaska Airlines flight last week between Newark and LAX. I have never been nervous about having a female pilot, have you? I actually, feel more comfortable because you know they are cool, calm and meticulous.
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