Picture from the movie, "Catch Me if you Can." It did a great job putting the airline pilot up on the pedestal.
Just received this from a fan. There's been many 'alcohol' skits like this one (see below) throughout the years. It always seems to strike a chord. We airline pilots have many stereotypical images. Here's one for the list. Transport Canada states no pilot will consume alcohol at least eight hours prior to flight. At Air Canada, it's 12 hours from "bottle to throttle."
Reminds me of an interview question. "What would you do if you saw your captain drinking in the hotel bar exceeding his cut off time for alcohol."
Answer (from a quick thinker). "Go and join him. Obviously the flight was delayed!"
Many perceive (especially Holywood) the airline pilot to be a tall, slim, heterosexual, Caucasian male with a "John Wayne" persona coupled with drop dead handsome good looks with a beaming smile that could woo any female. Well, the modern flight deck is a changing.
Air Canada is no exception. The pilot group is made up of four percent female with many visible minorities. The average new hire age is 35 so that dapper young 20 year old in a brand new airline suit does not exist. CRM (Crew Resource Management) has also toned things in the flight deck. No longer is the show entirely run by the captain.
One company I flew for shunned pilots for eating ice cream in view of the public. Many companies also shun pilots to eat in an area where alcohol is served while in uniform. At Air Canada we must walk with our tunic buttoned with our hat on. Many carriers have thrown the hat away with the tunic open for many to accommodate their equatorial spare tires. :)
When I went for an interview with United Emirates five years ago, I was asked whether I would have an issue with so many nationalities in the flight deck. "Not a problem," I said. Although, I'm wise enough to know this is an issue for some airlines around the world.
Speaking of perception. Here's another interview question: See if you can answer it honestly before looking at the answer:
"What would you do if you saw your captain in the hotel lobby wearing a dress on their layover?"
Answer: "I would say nice dress, because obviously the captain is female."
Skit by Dean Martin and Foster Brooks
Foster Brooks is sporting a beard. For one thing you will not see a North American pilot with a beard. Some European companies such as Lufthansa allow beards.