Southwest Wouldn’t Hire Lauren Sánchez as a Flight Attendant — Now She’s a Pilot
Although some think of her only as Jeff Bezos‘ girlfriend, 53-year-old pilot and Emmy-winning host Lauren Sánchez is so much more. The couple publicly came out after paparazzos outed their love affair in January 2019. Both Bezos and Sánchez were in marriages at the time, quickly divorcing their respective spouses to be together.
Now, the couple — with their combined seven children — is happier than ever. Not just because of their personal lives, but because she and Bezos are currently at the frontlines of the potential of space exploration. Sánchez will be leading an all-female mission to space through Blue Origin in early 2024 with a crew of five women.
Lauren Sánchez is the pilot who put Jeff Bezos back in the air
Although Bezos founded Blue Origin, the aerospace company working to put human beings in space for prolonged periods of time, it was Sánchez who helped the billionaire to get over his fear of flying. In 2003, Bezos was in a potentially fatal helicopter crash.
Following that, he developed a fear of flying until Sánchez, a certified pilot, helped him get past it. Now, Bezos is working to get a pilot’s license of his own. However, for all of their larger-than-life aspirations, Sánchez insists that, all things considered, they’re a pretty normal couple.
“On a typical Saturday, we hang out, we have dinner with the kids, which is always fun because you never know where the conversation is going to go with this many kids,” she said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “We are the Brady Bunch!”
Before she became a pilot, Sánchez tried to be a flight attendant
Soon after, she went on to explain how she and Bezos were born in the same hospital, six years apart. She also revealed more about her experience applying to be a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. “Back then, they weighed you, and I weighed 121 pounds,” she explained.
However, Southwest’s weight limit capped out at 115, allegedly. Of course, that only motivated Sánchez to get herself into the air even more. “I don’t want to be a stewardess. I want to be the pilot!” she said when asked what she would say to the airline now. And that’s exactly what she did.
Now an accomplished helicopter pilot, Sánchez relayed a story about how she once embarrassed her son in the most grandiose way possible: by flying over his football practice one day and telling all his teammates to look up. Despite his protesting, Sánchez insisted, “But he secretly thinks I’m cool, I know it.”
She is also the ultimate multi-hyphenate
Throughout Sánchez’s storied career, one might think she lives 100 different lives. From almost co-hosting “The View” to her cameo in “Fight Club” to her longtime gig hosting “Good Day LA” from 2011 to 2017, Sánchez does more in a decade than some people do their entire lives.
Since 2016, she’s been going behind the camera with her company Black Ops Aviation, a movie studio she launched that prioritizes female pilots and top-notch aerial footage for film and television.
In the interview, Sánchez notes only 9% of pilots are women. In addition to her philanthropic work with Bezos, Sánchez prioritizes her quest to get women in the air, in space, and beyond.
If that weren’t enough, Sánchez is also building a new production company called Adventure & Fellowship, which will focus on narrative features, documentaries, commercials, and more. “Everyone has an incredible story and sometimes they don’t have anyone to tell it,” she said of this latest endeavor.
Because Sánchez is Latina, she also involves herself with an organization called This Is About Humanity, which facilitates resources and support for families who are torn apart at the Mexican border. “Every kid deserves to have dignity and respect, and they have these kids in these little cells without their moms and dads. It’s just not OK,” she said.
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