Podcast 035: A busy time for women in aviation

Welcome to Episode 035 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest for this episode is Benét Wilson, founder and sole proprietor of Aviation Queen, an aviation/travel freelance writing and consulting business. She’s also the Air Travel Expert for About.com, and freelances for a wide variety of prestigious industry publications, including Runway Girl Network.

In a departure from our usual #PaxEx coverage, this podcast focuses on issues affecting women in aviation. Firstly, President Barack Obama has signed the Women Airforce Service Pilot Arlington Inurnment Restoration Act, ensuring that WASPs will once again be allowed to have their ashes interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Benét has been tracking this story for some time. She explains why WASPs were ever denied this right in the first place and how bipartisan support played a key role in righting this wrong.

Next, breastfeeding pilots at Frontier Airlines have filed a discrimination lawsuit, alleging that the carrier does not provide proper accommodations for them to pump their milk while on the job. Will the case be precedent setting? Co-hosts Max Flight and Mary Kirby discuss the possibilities with Benét, and highlight areas where airlines can make the balance of career and family a little less challenging for parents.

Last but not least, Air France management recently came under fire from its flight attendants’ union for requiring them to wear headscarves as it resumed services to Tehran. Then the Airplane Geeks podcast came under a bit of fire on social media for discussing the issue without including a woman’s opinion. In a bid to add more women’s voices to the conversation, Benét and Mary weigh in, and underscore why the word “choice” is fundamental to the equation.

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