Jeff Bezos’s partner Lauren Sánchez recently told Wall Street Journal about a past encounter with Southwest Airlines.
The Emmy-award-winning journalist recalled when she was 18 years old and wanted to pursue a career as a flight attendant. However, she failed a mandatory weigh-in for a position with Southwest in 1989, PEOPLE reported.
“Back then, they weighed you, and I weighed 121 pounds,” she explains. “They said, ‘You need to be 115.’” She noted that if she had to do it all over again, she would say, “I don’t want to be a stewardess. I want to be the pilot!”
It seems the airline still has some restrictions in place. Its current flight attendant career page reads: “Weight must be of such proportion to height that a neat appearance is maintained and the physical ability to perform all job functions is not hindered.”
Flight attendants are required to be at least 20 years old, maintain “a well-groomed appearance,” and be able to lift 50 lbs. to shoulder height.
Sánchez switched career routes to become a well-known journalist, working on-air at KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona, and Fox Sports, Extra, and Good Day L.A. However, she has returned and gotten her helicopter pilot’s license.
“I don’t know why more women don’t do it,” she says, adding that when other women find out what she does, they’re often shocked. “They’re like, “What? You’re such a bada–!” And I want to say it’s really not that hard. I do want more women to get involved in it.”
She also told WSJ that she’ll be on an upcoming Blue Origin trip to space with an all-female crew of “women who are making a difference in the world and who are impactful and have a message to send.”
“I’m super excited about it. And a little nervous,” she tells WSJ of the voyage, which is currently slated to take place by early 2024. “I’ve wanted to be in the rocket from the jump, so [Bezos] is excited to make this happen with all of these women.”