Jeff Bezos’ partner Lauren Sanchez says she was told she was ‘too heavy’ to be a flight attendant
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Jeff Bezos’ partner Lauren Sanchez says she was told she was ‘too heavy’ to be a flight attendant, only to find another - even more bada** - way of getting into the skies.
Super casually, she also happens to be a helicopter pilot.
But it turns out the aviation industry hasn’t always been so welcoming for Sanchez, who is the long-term girlfriend of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, she has spoken about various career paths she tried to pursue in the past, explaining how there were a number of obstacles that held her back.
When she was younger, Sanchez dreamed of being a journalist, but struggled with grades thanks to undiagnosed dyslexia.
After leaving home at 18, she headed to Los Angeles to become a flight attendant, only to be told she was 'too heavy'.
Speaking about a failed mandatory weigh-in in 1989 at Southwest Airlines – which was something that was apparently common for many airlines at the time – Sanchez said: “Back then, they weighed you, and I weighed 121 pounds.
“They said, ‘You need to be 115.’”
Sanchez said she knows what she would have told them if it happened to her now: “I don’t want to be a stewardess. I want to be the pilot!”
She then went on to enroll in El Camino College in Torrance, California, where a journalism teacher realised her low grades weren’t reflective of her intelligence.
Sanchez continued: “I cry every time I tell this story: I got tested [for learning differences] and [the teacher said], ‘You’re not dumb. You’re just dyslexic. Let me give you tools on how to write’.”
She said the kind actions from the teacher, who also gave her a pocket dictionary to keep on her at all times, changed her life adding: “I went from barely a 2.0 student to the dean’s list and got a scholarship to USC.”
Along with a solid career in journalism, in 2016, Sanchez also founded Black Ops Aviation - one of the first female-owned aerial film and production companies, having realised she was one of few women doing the job.
She now often flies Bezos and their family around the world, and says she tries to get into the cockpit at least three times a week.
“I don’t know why more women don’t do it,” she said.