Part-time pilot


10 March 2007


BA pilot’s part-time work victory

A female British Airways pilot has succeeded in a three-year campaign to be allowed to work part-time.

Jessica Starmer, from Wareham in Dorset, had been denied a request to work part-time so she could look after her daughter, Beth.

BA said it had withdrawn an appeal against a previous sex discrimination employment tribunal ruling, which had found in her favour.

Fucking hell. What the fu…?

Why is it ‘sex discrimination’ just because they denied her the chance to work part-time? Are male pilots allowed to? No.

Oh, but wait, women are special creatures who need pampering and privileges to ensure they can be “equal.”

BA had argued that its refusal to allow Ms Starmer to work fewer hours was a health and safety issue, because she had not completed the required amount of flying hours under the company’s rules.

See? It’s not a ‘sex discrimination’ issue, it’s health & safety. You can’t have a pilot who hasn’t flown the required number of hours because she had to go home and make the school run.

What’s the point in her having a wonderful empowering career if she’s not going to bother half the time? That job could go to a man who’ll do the job properly. Not someone who only wants the job for a bit of empowerment in between being a housewife.

“This is your pilot speaking, we are currently half way across the Atlantic and are due to land in New York in four-hours…or rather we would be if we were still going there. However, my kid’s school has just rung up saying little Johnny is ill and needs taking home, so sit tight as I turn around and head back to Heathrow.”

Okay, I exaggerate, but still, surely anyone would rather have a pilot who flies full-time and not a part-time one. And even if she has now flown the suitable amount of hours, fuck it, why should any employer be obliged to offer staff part-time, especially if it is something as important as flying commercial airliners? Companies are there to provide a service or product and make a profit, not bend over backwards and compromise health and safety to ensure some fucking woman can have her bloody work/life balance.

The airline said it planned to review a flying hours threshold, whereby pilots must have flown for a total of 2,000 hours before being considered for a shorter contract.

Great. First they soften up the requirements for fire-fighters, soldiers and police to allow women to qualify, now airlines may have to soften up the requirements for pilots.

“Ah, you have a vagina Miss Trainee pilot. In that case, you don’t have to train as long as your male colleagues. I’m sure the passengers who subsequently fly with you will be quite happy to accept the increased risk of you killing them all after mistaking the M25 for a runway.”

“Pilots are in a highly skilled profession, in short supply, and unless airlines start to show flexibility, they will struggle to recruit amongst this talented pool.”

Well, I’d rather have a short supply of highly trained full-time male pilots than a huge number of pilots with many being women who are weakly trained and only work part-time.

posted by Duncan Idaho @ 9:53 AM

At 11:23 AM, Callum Phoenix said…

God this is blatant discrimination. Getting an airline pilot job is extremely competitive and most people who apply will never get in (I know from experience). And most of the people who apply are men. And now someone with a vagina gets part time on a job that requires men to work full time ALL the time! This hardly surprises me but it is extremely aggravating.


At 11:39 AM, Anonymous said…

Hi I have been lurking around. Your blog is great.

Here is a Christian take on why marriage is screwed up in recent times. Scroll down and read the last paragraphs.

“Forbidding to marry”

I will copy and paste some good parts.

BUT YOU SAY. . . . .
How have WE delayed marriage? The Bible says that it is better to marry than to burn with unfulfilled desire: BUT you say; it’s better to burn for several years than to get married before you have your MONEY in order. You require that your children have their own house, their own car, and an established career before they get married: and WHY? Because you are too selfish and unloving to let them live in your home for a while, and you don’t want to have to contribute to their support! You delay the marriage of your children for the sake of education; the “reason” for getting that education is to get a good job. The reason for seeking the “good job” is to get MORE MONEY. As I said, these TEACHINGS OF DEMONS APPEAR to be “just practical” to the minds of those who embrace them. You DELAY the marriage of your children by insisting on expensive and complicated weddings. MONEY decides if they will marry, who they will marry, and when. PROMISE plus INTIMACY = MARRIAGE in The Bible. By MISDEFINING marriage into a “ceremony”, you deceive your children into a false definition for marriage. Thus, because MARRIAGE is MISDEFINED even by professing Christians, young men and women will do a lot of “promising and touching”, or even LIVE TOGETHER, for months or even years while they wait to get ENOUGH MONEY to have “a wedding”. Many people now think that years of sexual relations; EVEN AFTER THEY HAVE HAD CHILDREN; don’t make for a real “marriage”; while they presume that a “ceremony” DOES! While your children are waiting for all those years to get OLD ENOUGH and to get FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT so they can “get married”, you allow them to play “the dating game”: thinking that if you allow them to participate in “a little foreplay”, that this will “tide them over” until they are allowed to “go all the way”. But, the “dating game” is just THE PRACTICE OF PROMISCUITY if there is ANY level of sexual contact that is not regarded as a pledge to be married immediately. Jesus said that even to look with lust at someone you have no right to is adultery. During those young adult years, your children may “fall in love” with SEVERAL people, and engage in “making out” or EVEN MORE than that. You MISDEFINE sexual sin so that anything short of “touching certain body parts” is NOT SIN. Therefore your children are SCHOOLED IN WHOREDOM. You don’t mind if your daughter “holds hands” with a HUNDRED DIFFERENT BOYS; as long as that is all she does. You don’t mind if your son kisses a HUNDRED DIFFERENT GIRLS; as long as he doesn’t go much farther than that. During the high school and college years, your child may IMPLY or SPEAK “The Promise” to several different people: by the time they do “get married” they are ALREADY SCHOOLED IN ADULTERY, having “promised and touched”: and then changed their mind and gone on to someone else, AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.
BUT YOU SAY. . . .
How have WE hindered people from having happy marriages? The Bible says, The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church (Eph. 5:23): but you have your “modern, democratic IDEAS” about “equality” and “rights”, so you “explain” this in such a way that the husband does not end up with THE FINAL SAY about EVERYTHING in the home and family. You JUSTIFY rebellion against the AUTHORITY God has established in the family by CIRCUMSTANTIAL ETHICS: as if the husband has to first pass some “test” before he may have THE FINAL SAY in EVERY SINGLE MATTER pertaining to the family. You tell or listen to SOB STORIES that are supposed to EXCUSE disobedience to this PLAIN, CLEAR, and OFTEN REPEATED teaching of The Bible.
The Bible says that once you are married, you have LOST THE RIGHT to determine WHERE and WHEN there shall be intimate relations. YOUR SPOUSE has, by DIVINE COMMAND, the RIGHT at ANY and EVERY time to your FULL COOPERATION with their romantic needs and desires (1 Cor. 7:3-5). BUT NO! You have more to say about “rights and privacy” that EXCUSES “so called” Christians for their DISOBEDIENCE to this PLAIN, UNAMBIGUOUS, COMMANDMENT. Many an ADULTERY and DIVORCE has been the result of those who DISOBEY GOD in this matter; and many even use SEXUAL DENIAL as a way to FORCE their spouse to yield on OTHER THINGS. . . . . . . . .EVIL! EVIL! EVIL!
BUT YOU SAY. . . . .
How have WE foreshortened marriage? By not AGREEING WITH and TEACHING the SAME THINGS The Bible says about the conduct of marriage and sexual sin; you have UNDERMINED the PERMANENCE of marriage. You make EXCUSES for divorce that The Bible does not give; you make REASONS to justify both DIVORCE and REMARRIAGE in flat out contradiction to Jesus Christ, Who said: Whosoever shall marry her (or him) that is divorced, committeth ADULTERY (Matt. 5:32). Who among you will now show us how I have misrepresented what the Bible says about these things?


At 12:35 PM, Anonymous said…

If pilot’s are so scarce, why are pilot salaries so low (as is the job prestige).


At 1:50 PM, Kodiak said…

Oh for fuck’s sake! How idiotic are people going to get. I know I won’t fly BA, and after a few accidents caused by lack of pilot experience I’m sure no one else will either.


At 4:11 PM, ColdHammer said…

Well, I guess you can officially claim that terrorists are now seeking placement as a pilot which to me is unacceptable.

I think everyone should start to learn to how to fly a plane themselves so we can all fly our own rather than let someone else do it for us. It’s like driving – DIY. The same can go for airlines – DIY.


At 5:22 PM, Lisa said…

There are clearly situations when women need to work part-time in order to help make ends meet in their home. And it is wonderful when employers are in a position to extend part-time opportunities. Why is it assumed every job must offer part-time work for things to be fair? There has to be a line in the sand between reasonable and absurd. As a society we work hard to try to give equal opportunities to those with disabilities. Should we now allow the blind to be taxi drivers so all is equal in terms of opportunity? How insane. There are plenty of jobs out there that can tolerate a part-time commitment without jeopardizing the health and safety of others or severely hampering a company’s ability to function well. She needs to refocus a bit, be happy for being blessed with a child and realize the blessing may require a different career if she is now only able to work part-time. Next thing she’ll be asking for is daycare on the plane.


At 5:37 PM, Rob Fedders said…


I have a commercial pilot’s license – and pilots are NOT in short supply!

Pilots with respectable hours under their belt ARE in short supply.

They make a mistake with the 2,000hrs threshold too. You need to fly 2000hrs BEFORE you can even apply for your ATPL – (Airline Transport Pilot License) Lol! And that will get you a job somewhere up in the Arctic flying an old Otter with 10 passengers onboard.

You don’t get to fly in the jets like the small 737’s until you log in around 6,000 hrs, and MAYBE you get to be a Co-Pilot on one of the big Jets when you get up to 10,000hrs – Lol! NOW You are finally becoming a pilot that is in “short supply.” It will probably take about 15 years to get that far – if you are lucky. You can’t just go and fly and fly to rack up hours either, because there are restrictions on how many hours you may fly each month & each year – to prevent fatigue from causing accidents.

Many women get their pilot’s license but don’t get anywhere because they aren’t willing to do the shit work. Most of us guys had to hop in our cars and drive WAY UP NORTH, sleeping in our cars to save money, and banging on hangar doors offering to sweep floors or do painting FOR FREE, just so that we would get hired to spend a year sweeping floors and cleaning windshields for minimum wage – with the hopes that that after a year, MAYBE we would earn enough favours that we could get 100/hrs year of flying time while still sweeping floors.

There’s a lot of “Yes Sir” going on and living in some not very attractive places to get to your goals. Finding a good second hand clothing store helps too!

Most places won’t even hire you for an extremely dangerous Bush Pilot job unless you have first “somehow” gotten a 1000hrs.

The guys who get to fly the big jets have sacrificed a HUGE amount to get to where they are. They have serious passion and are committed to what they are doing. Only the best of the best gets to the top, and thats how it should be.

Flying is “no bullshit” job.

***Most*** of the women I knew got their license and simply refused to even consider going North – there was NO WAY! And sleeping in your car? Forget it!

They all thought they could land a cush flying job in some place THEY wanted to live in.

Most of the women that I know never get one single hour of flight time after getting their license. And it is not sexism, flying is truly a capitalist industry that cannot afford bullshit things like Affirmative Action or “Flexi-time.”


At 6:29 PM, VoodooJock said…

This is flat out unsafe. You need to fly to maintain proficiency. Ask any pilot that doesn’t fly regularly how rusty they thought their skills were after the layoff, and he’ll tell you.

This is flat out stupid, no different than the two women with 20/200 vision who sued for handicapped discrimination because they weren’t allowed to be pilots.


At 11:31 PM, Captain Zarmband said…

Sorry, but you’re missing the point here. Women like this “pilot” don’t want to work part-time, in fact they don’t want to work at all, they just want compensation i.e. money for nothing. No-one who wants a long career sues their employer – it’s not really a good career move is it? The only people who do this simply want compensation – what’s that noise I hear – oh, it’s the rumble of the gravy train arriving on platform one.

Mind you, there is one good point about this and that is the fact that as women become evermore greedy and demanding they will eventually price themselves out of the job market. If you were an airline boss who would you rather employ? A man who does his job and does as he’s told or a woman who wants to re-write all the rules, schedules and procedures just to suit herself. Not tricky is it?


At 11:38 PM, Duncan Idaho said…

It’s the rumble of the gravy train arriving on platform one.

I like that line Captain Z, I may have to pinch it for future use 🙂


At 1:50 AM, Lisa said…

Captain Z, interesting point.

Man Rob F. I didn’t have a clue one how commercial pilots get where they are. Thanks for sharing. I always thought all pilots came from the AirForce and presto, they were flying commercial jets.


At 3:18 AM, Anonymous said…

Well, that’s the end of my BA patronage. Plenty of other carriers hop the puddle.


At 3:29 AM, Anonymous said…

Can you spell lawsuit?

Just imagine a crash because a part-time pilot did not have enough flying hours.

BA will pay for that decision, I bet.


At 3:32 AM, mfsob said…

Ye Gods, what’s next, doctors who don’t want to spend all those hours learning the art of medicine?

Glad I won’t be flying on ANY Brit airlines in the foreseeable future.


At 7:51 AM, Anonymous said…

I am a part time pilot – woohoo f*** where is the damned runway?!??


At 10:59 AM, Field Marshall Watkins said…

Captain got it spot on. Women want the money, but don’t want to put the work in.

It is all about THEM. They are way too selfish to be trusted in positions of critical importance unless they can prove their dedication and skills are comparable to the men in the same field.

That is, they have to raise their game to the industry, not force the standards down.


At 10:58 PM, Paul Parmenter said…

Is this good old British Airways again? The selfsame British Airways that won’t allow a man to sit next to an unaccompanied child because we are all paedophiles and child molesters? Yes, I think it is.

So this now gives me my second huge reason never to fly BA. I neither want to be treated like a pervert, nor to have my life put at risk because this crummiest of all airlines chooses to cave in to another pseudo-victimised female.


At 1:30 AM, A Feminist’s Nightmare said…

“That is, they have to raise their game to the industry, not force the standards down.”

This is interesting, because, it seems that standards are going down all over the place. Just in schools, most kids have so many problems, but instead of helping them get through their learning, ministries of education just lower the standards… It is to the point where you can’t fail any kid anymore!!!

Unfortunately the habit of lowering the standards is widespread. People are not used to hard work anymore. For crying out loud, people can’t even do dishes or shovel anymore! Everyone needs a machine for every single task. Especially women. I have met so many of them always being scared of breaking their nails or dirtying their fingers. NO wonder the obesity rate is so high these days. They all have become couch potatoes while the microwave cooks dinner and the dishwasher does the dishes…..


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous said…

Yes, I think there’s a fundamental flaw in most things feminist illustrated here…
Good personal mental health,apparently,depends on having a challenge in life to solve,within reasonable limits.
This is how mankind (with female close support)gained ascendancy on the planet.
Now the tendency to ‘dumb down’ to the lowest common denominator is truly weakening (western) society as with this BA pilot issue.
This gives feminists the illusion of success and they will criticise mens’ whinging on this issue as sour grapes-well,it’s not so.
All the figures- especially the birthrate halving in 30+ years show big trouble ahead.
Further, guess what ??- the womyn- even though having a better social deal than a lot of men are NOT happy, poor dears!!
So ! .. what’s the net gain?
Any ‘womyn'( & thus NOT female empathisers) reading this- care to elucidate? Please…a lot of you are expensively educated- using a lot of good mens’ tax money,or did you never wonder where the largesse came from….and will you ever ‘learn to care’- after all that spoiling.. (whoops,sorry-empowerment )?


At 7:36 PM, Rob Fedders said…


Some people do take the Military Route – because it is guaranteed that you will make it. But that also entails getting a University Degree in order become an Officer (Pilots in the Military are Officers), and then you have to commit to 9 & 1/2 years, I believe, of service to pay off your expensive training…

And, to the end, unless there is a war or something, the equipment in the Military is expensive to operate so they don’t just let you fly like a monkey whenever you want to. I’ve talked to guys who took the military route here in Canada & after completing their service (13.5 years altogether), some have only 2,000 or 3,000 hours.

Which leaves them with several more years after that to get to their goals – although they are desirable “hires” as they have been flying more heavy duty & technical equipment than most people with similar hours.

Still not an easy route.

Given the consequences of someone making a foolish mistake – I am glad it is so tough for pilots to make it.

I remember at one hangar I was working at – I watched a larger plane land – and even though the Pilot had an entire maintenance crew to take care of his plane, I watched him still do a walk around of his plane, checking for safety etc. – EXACTLY like I was trained to do with my daily inspections in the mornings & walk-arounds each time before you fly.

I find that encouraging.

EVERY “incident” is Pilot error – doesn’t matter if a mechanic left a wrench somewhere inside that caused the engine to quit – It is the pilot’s fault for not catching it. What are you going to do? Whine to the Union that your engine konked out? Lol! No Bullshit.

Btw – I didn’t “make it.” But it was a memorable adventure trying!


At 10:12 PM, k-dog said…

It’s been stated numerous times that the overwhelming majority of US airline pilots are ex-military. As in Canada, pilots are officers, not enlisted.

The US practice probably differs somewhat from that elsewhere, as US military officers can retire after 20 years’ service and still have plenty of flying time left before the mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots (possibly soon to be increased to 65 for domestic flights). Of course, airlines prefer military pilots because they don’t want to put resources into training civilians, only to have them leave after achieving the hours requirements. The situation with BA is, as of right now, unlikely to happen here in the States, but give it time…

But! No one thought a female astronaut, of all people, would flake and flame out as now former astronaut Lisa Nowak did. You better believe that some airlines, not to mention NASA, will be looking at this in determining whom to promote to be a pilot in coming years. The Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts, all males, did plenty of uncalled-for “playa” activity way back when, but they were hand-picked after rigorous psychological tests, had stable marriages, and never flipped out over pussy. Nowak just might have ruined things for future women airline and space shuttle pilots down the road, at least in the US. Things are still a bit more conservative in certain quarters here than in the UK.


At 6:40 PM, AndyS said…

BA had argued that its refusal to allow Ms Starmer to work fewer hours was a health and safety issue, because she had not completed the required amount of flying hours under the company’s rules.

See? It’s not a ‘sex discrimination’ issue, it’s health & safety. You can’t have a pilot who hasn’t flown the required number of hours because she had to go home and make the school run

It’s not just the company either, the FAA (at least in the states) says you have to have so many hours to be current etc…


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