'Silly and ignorant': Aviation Union head responds to 'trolly dolly' comments

A union leader has come out swinging against the Australian academic who called flight attendants 'trolly dollies' when she defended a fellow academic who was called 'Miss' instead of 'Doctor' aboard a flight.

"I did not spend 8 years at university to be called Miss," Dr Siobhan O'Dwyer said in a tweet last Friday that's set social media alight.  

The debated heated up when fellow academic Dr Mel Thomson said she didn't study for years to 'have 'a trolley dolly' decide what she gets called.'

Dr O'Dwyer told Newshub she's turning down all media requests for comment because "the online response has already been so vitriolic and any coverage will only incite further hatred." 

And now, E Tū's aviation head Savage has called for Dr Thompson to apologise for her ' silly and ignorant' comments.

"That woman should apologise to flight attendants for those comments, she really needs to think hard about the comments she has made."

He told Newshub it's a common myth about cabin crew and something flight attendants often have to put up with.

"For one it's a sexist comment to think all flight attendants are woman - one in four are men.

"They [flight attendants] put up a lot of poor behaviour, the last thing they need are these derogative comments."

He said while flight attendants do provide passengers with in flight food and drink their main priority while on board is safety. 

"They do amazing work, at the core of what they do is safety - this is a crew to look after the integrity of the flight.

"It's a silly prejudice among many of the different airlines some passengers treat them incredibly well and really appreciate the work they do" but many also don't, Savage says.

He said the only way to eliminate this prejudice is to talk about it when it. He urged passengers not to forget to thank flight attendants for the hard work they do on every flight.

Dr Thompson has been contacted for comment by Newshub.