Travel firm TUI have denied reinforcing stereotypes in a row over 'sexist stickers' handed out to children on flights.
Passengers complained after cabin crew gave 'future pilot' stickers to boys, while girls were given the equivalent with 'future cabin crew'.
The Chair of NHS Providers, Dame Gillian Morgan, 65, flying to Bristol from Paphos, Cyprus, complained after she saw crew handing out the stickers to children on-board earlier this month.
Dame Morgan said she was "absolutely sure" that the stickers were sorted by gender on purpose, denouncing it as "deeply sexist".
"The stickers were gender neutral but it’s the way that they were handed out that makes it complicated," she told Metro.co.uk"
The row has been brewing on Twitter for a few months after one passenger tweeted the firm back in May pointing out the gender bias.
On May 26, Twitter user @St_Pirran wrote online: "@TUIUK your cabin crew today chose “future tui cabin crew” stickers for the girls and “future pilot” for the boys, no female pilots then?"
In July, Linzi Walker posted: "Lovely touch by @TUIUK flying out to Corfu Friday by giving children TUI stickers and activity sheet. ‘Not so lovely that all the boys were given “future pilot” stickers and the girls “future cabin crew”?! Sexist much?"
A spokesperson for TUI said: "We’re sorry to hear a small number of customers have been upset by this.
"We think it has just been a simple mix-up since our future pilot and cabin crew stickers are designed for use for any child regardless of gender. The stickers are part of our activity packs which are intended to be used by crew to interact, engage with and create special moments for our customers on their holiday.
"The feedback we’ve had so far this summer has been overwhelmingly positive. Children fall in love with flying when they go on their holidays with us and we want to encourage their dreams of becoming future pilots and crew members.
The airline said the stickers are not designed for boys or girls but for all children, and the crew hand them out to boys and girls on their flight regardless of gender.