For some people, working with your family members might not be the most ideal situation. But this is not the case for the Petitt family who made history last July 23, 2022 for being the first mother-duo to grace the skies as co-pilots for Southwest Airlines! For Captain Holly Petitt and first officer Keely Petitt, they’ve made a new home with each other in the pilot’s cockpit!
The journey to being a pilot wasn’t easy for Holly Pettit, who had to juggle being a full-time mom to three children while working as a flight attendant for another company. Even though the field back then was dominated by men, that didn’t stop Holly from pursuing her dream of being a pilot. So she obtained her flight certifications against all odds and became a pilot with Southwest for 18 long satisfying years!
Her determination set a fantastic example to her daughter, Keely, who was only 14 years old when her own dreams of becoming a pilot were also realized. In 2017, she finally obtained her pilot’s license and was granted an internship with her mother’s airline company – Southwest.
According to Keely, “Southwest was always the end goal. There was really never any other option.”
5 years later, on July 23, 2022, Keely was able to accomplish another feat in her life – flying with her mother in the cockpit. They piloted the a flight from Denver to St. Louis, which according to Holly, was “a dream come true.”
The mother-duo have brought pride for Southwest Airlines, who released a statement and applauded the women for making history: “Our People are the Heart of Southwest. We want to ensure we’re equipping our Employees so they have a career with Heart and Purpose. Not only are Holly and Keely making Southwest history, but also they’re breaking barriers and empowering women of all ages to pursue their dreams in aviation, and pun intended, reach for the skies.”
Kudos to women who aren’t afraid to reach for the stars!