female pilot
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
May 1, 2024 ·  3 min read

Female pilot gets mistaken for flight attendant by airport employee

A 22-year-old female pilot known as @sabrinaleej on TikTok caught the attention of millions of viewers when she posted her latest video. The pilot seems to be pretty unamused and frowns at the camera, dressed in her uniform. She originally staked her claim to fame when she posted about the difficulties that arise as a female pilot in their 20s.

It seems that age stigma is not the only issue that this pilot has struggled with – it’s her sex as well. Sabrina frustratingly explained to her followers that once again, a gate agent presumed that she formed part of the cabin crew. She further suggested that these presumptions occur all the time when she is at the airport.

Female pilot @sabrinaleej on TikTok
Image Credit: @sabrinaleej TikTok

As a female pilot, one has to fight for what they want

Sabrina was very quick to point out that the “Gate agent looked me in the eye today, asked if I was the flight attendant. (Common occurrence). It’s jarring to me because they work at an airport. You know what the pilot uniforms are.” It’s clearly not that hard to see that she is donning the exact same uniform any male pilot may be seen wearing.

People were fast to respond to the female pilot, supporting Sabrina by stating: “This is unacceptable!” Another added: “As a flight attendant, I’m offended for you. Unacceptable. They KNOW our uniforms,” while a third commented: “Ask if they’ve been drinking on the job.”

This seems to be more common an occurrence than we thought as things escalated rather fast in the comments section of her viral video which had raked up over 2.4 million views to date. You can literally see her three stripes on her epaulets – the shoulder tabs pilots wear on their uniforms. Flight officers wear three stripes like Sabrina does, captains four.

Read: 6 Times Airline Pilots and Crews Went Above and Beyond to Save Lives

Female pilot @sabrinaleej on TikTok
Image Credit: @sabrinaleej TikTok

Some followers stood up and pointed out the sexism they have experienced in the workplace

One follower mentioned that they regularly experience this sort of sexist behavior at their workplace, stating that it “Happens to me all the time.” Which brought forth a flood of others suggesting the same unfairness in their workplaces.

“I’m a software engineer and the amount of times men will assume I am a designer, it happens ALL the time. I’ve been at the gate with some of my female pilot friends and witnessed it.” Chipped in another.

Why is being a flight attendant considered an insult?

This inspired Sabrina to make a follow up video. She goes on to explain that being a flight attendant is also not an insult. Stating that “It’s an insult when it’s used to try to put me down after all my hard work. When you do that, you are insulting both me and flight attendants.”

This had social media users excited, backing up the female pilot. One user wrote: “YES! Pilot training and flight attendant training are very different but BOTH very valid and impressive. Keep killin’ it girl!

Another TikToker added: “As a flight attendant currently going through flight training, thanks for saying this. We have different jobs, but BOTH matter so much. We’re a team.” A third excitingly comented “Yes THIS. As a former FA and current pilot this is what needs to be said.”

One commented that “No job should be put down, I respect everyone from the CEO to the janitor.” With another thanking Sabrina by saying “As a flight attendant currently going through flight training, thanks for saying this. We have different jobs, but BOTH matter so much. We’re a team🥰

The support for the female pilot kept flowing

Another follower made a statement that added to the general insult stating that “I’m the boss of a million dollar company, and one of my clients (!) said, I shouldn’t be so arrogant because I was just an assistant. 😂” One male follower even added: “It’s an insult because they only are assuming you’re a flight attendant because you’re a woman.”

Have you ever experiences sexist remarks or behavior in your workplace? It seems it’s a rather common occurrence and by now, with access to social media and education, people should know better. We take our hat off to this female pilot who made a point and called out an issue that needs to be addressed.

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