Some passengers abuse the call button on planes, which is why the staff hate them for it. In what situations it is better to refuse to press the help button, the flight attendants said in a thread on the Reddit forum.
Certain categories of tourists sincerely believe that a special button is designed for them to press it when they need a drink, food or a blanket. This is partly true. As the flight attendants explained, the button should only be pressed by passengers sitting by the window so that they do not disturb other tourists in their row. “I'd rather have people come over to order drinks etc. But the exception is passengers at the window. But if someone calls again and again asking for a drink, I will get annoyed. Sorry, if you need so much water, you should have bought a bottle at the airport,” one airline employee was outraged.
However, more conservative flight attendants said they would like the button to be used only in emergencies, and in medical ones. “It should only be used in emergency situations. If you need a trash bag in case you vomit, you may need medical attention, the person next to you is unwell. I mean situations of this type,” explained the second.
Other crew members have criticized travelers who sometimes use a button to get a flight attendant to come over and clean up trash. According to them, this is the responsibility of the staff, but only at certain times, and not on request.
Passengers have also been found guilty of pressing the call button at really inopportune moments. For example, during takeoff, landing and turbulence. When the corresponding indicator is turned on, the personnel have to endanger themselves during the flight in order to resolve the issue of the tourist. “Do not press the button if the plane has entered the turbulence zone, unless it is a medical emergency,” the flight attendant urged. “Someone called me after we secured the cockpit for boarding and then complained about the slow service,” added another.
So, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants Sarah Nelson agreed with her colleagues. “Don't use the call button to ask for a drink. Don't think of the call button as a vodka and tonic button,” she clarified. Instead, the crew advised to approach the staff in the kitchen on their own in case they wanted something to drink or cover themselves with a blanket.
However, the constant air education did not prevent many passengers from pressing the button when they should not have done it, employees noted airlines. Flight attendants are people too, so sometimes they lose their nerves. Once, one of the flight attendants publicly shamed a tourist for pressing the button while waiting for food.
“I recently took off on an international flight and was asleep when a hot meal arrived. I woke up at 5:45 pm and realized that I had missed my opportunity, so I pressed the button to call the flight attendant to see if they could bring me something. The flight attendant very politely let me know she would, but the call button was for emergencies only, then she told everyone over the speakerphone that the call button was really only for emergencies. But still she brought me food. I felt a little “ashamed”, and people around definitely noticed this,” the traveler shared his story.
However, the tourists took his side and found that the button was just right for such situations. “Um, I don't think the button is just for emergencies. I have already used it before to get a blanket. There were no problems with the flight attendant,” the user said.
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